Whilst running your own business may seem like the ideal job, it comes with a great deal of responsibility. One of the areas sometimes overlooked by small business owners is the need for correct fire protection.In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, owner, landlord or occupier of business or other non-domestic premises, you’re responsible for fire safety and are known as the ‘responsible person’. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 details what you have to do to comply with the law.
Failure to comply can result in major fines, such as the recent examples of Abbey College fined nearly £50,000 for failures, a Nottingham restaurant fined almost £15,000 and a care home in Liverpool fined £44,000 for fire safety breaches. See links below for details.
The first task is to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment which identifies all the possible fire hazards in the work environment and details what prevention measures are required. The person who provides such a document should be “suitably qualified”. It is generally agreed that an independent advisor with a good deal of experience in fire protection and safety should be employed. By using an independently qualified assessor whose assessments are recognised by all governing bodies, if you are unfortunate enough to need to prove due diligence (e.g. if there has been a fire at your workplace), your Fire Risk Assessment can be used as evidence in court that you have taken your duties seriously.
If you would like further information on your duties, then call the experts at OHeap now.