Every business is legally required to carry out a fire risk assessment of their premises. By following government guidelines and ensuring their business is safe, owners can protect employees, visitors and property from fire.
Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons fire risk assessments are so important.
Identify potential hazards and minimise risk
Fire risk assessments enable businesses to identify potential hazards that could cause problems. From faulty electrical equipment to overloaded power sockets, there are so many things to keep an eye out for during your assessment. By identifying these hazards and understanding the building like the back of your hand, you can put plans in place to prevent accidents occurring in the first place.
Keep people safe in the event of a fire
Although there are plenty of things you can do to minimise the likelihood of a fire, accidents do happen and sometimes fires can occur. For this reason, it’s extremely important to have a plan of action to evacuate the building safely.
Your assessment should cover fire prevention equipment and firefighting supplies. Do you have working fire alarm systems? Do you have a fire blanket and an approved extinguisher?
Also look out for things that could cause an issue during an evacuation. Are all employees able to escape safely? Does anyone need any assistance to help them evacuate? Are there any obstacles standing in the way of escape routes and fire exits?
If you notice any issues during your assessment, you may also decide that fire safety training is necessary to improve safety throughout the company.
Avoid legal action
Not only can a fire risk assessment help you identify potential hazards and keep people safe in the event of a fire, it can also help you avoid legal action and costly expenses.
Breaching fire regulations can lead to legal proceedings and prosecution, particularly if an accident occurs and people are hurt or killed.
The director of a food firm in Birmingham was recently handed a 30-week suspended jail sentence after he breached fire safety legislation in a former pub which he had turned into a sweet shop .
Fire safety inspectors raised concerns regarding the condition of the building and the director was taken to court for his failure to implement the necessary safety measures.
Thankfully, all this can be avoided by familiarising yourself with fire safety legislation and conducting fire risk assessments. If you’d like help to inspect your premises and guidance when implementing safety measures, please get in touch with the team at Total Fire Services.