With the cost of energy rising all the time, it’s understandable that many businesses are looking for ways to save some money. However, there are some areas where a saving could be a false economy – and a fire risk.
Let’s all #SaveSafely and make positive changes that help our finances but don’t put buildings, staff or customers at risk. Here are a few things that we need you to think about.
We understand that there is a cost implication to maintaining and testing the fire safety systems you have in your business premises. However, maintenance and testing are essential in helping you provide adequate fire safety for people and for ensuring your legal compliance.
Such systems include (but are not limited to) fire alarms, fire doors, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems.
Guidance on what your maintenance and testing schedules should be is given in the relevant fire safety risk assessment guidance document for your premises type.
You should take competent advice and review your fire risk assessment if you consider making changes to your schedules.
Fire risk assessment
If you’re looking at how to reduce costs within your business, you may be thinking of postponing your fire risk assessment review or asking a member of staff to do the assessment for you.
Please remember that it is a legal requirement to ensure that, not only do you carry out a premises fire risk assessment, but that it is “suitable and sufficient”.
We therefore strongly encourage you to only appoint the services of a competent fire risk assessor and that you maintain timely and appropriate reviews. Advice on how to choose a fire risk assessor is available online.
To be able to ensure a quick and safe evacuation of your business premises, it is likely that you will rely on your staff to know what to do in the event of fire and, in some cases, you will have nominated staff members for specific duties, such as fire marshals.
Where any changes are made to your staffing, you should carry out a number of reviews including:
- the arrangements and/or procedures you have in place to make sure that all people can escape quickly and safely (especially where people may need assistance);
- review any personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) in place;
- what equipment you need; and
- ensuring that staff training is up to date.
Further advice and information can be found in the relevant fire safety risk assessment guidance document for your premises type.
There is a range of information available in our Save Safely section which, while aimed at domestic properties, is still of interest in a commercial setting. Please take a look!