The Legal Requirements Regarding Fire Risk in Non-Domestic Premises

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Any business which employs five people or more must carry out a fire risk assessment and keep a written record of the findings, along with any action taken. This applies to most businesses, because even a small shop can easily have five or more employees. It also applies to many other types of building as well.

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The Legal Requirements Regarding Fire Risk in Non- Domestic Premises When you own or operate any sort of non-domestic premises the law requires that you undertake certain measures with regard to fire safety and fire risk if you have five or more employees. This usually includes the vast majority of businesses but even if you have less than five employees it makes sense to follow the law. Fire can cause devastation on an unbelievable scale: you have only to look at the aftermath of Grenfell Tower to see that. However Grenfell Tower is not unique although a catastrophe. There are many fires which occur in buildings throughout the UK and they also cause fatalities on a regular basis. One of the things that is required by law if you are the "responsible person" in a business or any other non-domestic premises is that you undertake a building fire risk assessment on a regular basis. The responsible person may be the building owner a business owner occupying the building the managing agent or even a small shopkeeper. Obviously it makes a lot of sense to undertake a building fire risk assessment but if you are a small shopkeeper how do you start You probably know as much about undertaking a fire risk assessment as you do about "pi equals mc squared" or how to climb the Matterhorn. Nevertheless the law requires that you do it.

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Not only that but when you look into it more deeply the legal requirements are almost never-ending. For instance you have to undertake a building fire risk assessment on a regular basis but nowhere does it define what "regular" means. Every week Once a month Every ten years What is apparent is that you have to undertake a re-assessment whenever anything changes. This could be when you begin a new production line in your factory when you move equipment about which could result in blocking an escape route start to produce a new product which requires the use of flammable materials changing what you do with flammable materials when they have been used but have some left over changing storage situations or even something as simple as taking on a new employee. Not only are you required to undertake a re-assessment you are also required to keep a written record of it. Then there is safety and fire-fighting equipment. You have to have appropriate fire- fighting equipment and it has to be maintained. It must be within certain distances of where a fire may break out and it has to be the right type of fire-fighting equipment for your premises. Fires are classified in four groups as A B C and D and each requires a different type of extinguisher. A is solids such as paper and wood B is flammable liquids petrol oil and so on C is flammable gases and D is fires involving metals. Then there are electrical fires which somehow seem to have been forgotten to have been named as class E. How many extinguishers do you need This depends on the floor area of your premises. Where do you place them They should be close to the exit position from each floor and not obstructed by opening doors or hidden away in recesses. They must also be kept away from places where they might suffer damage. On that note fire extinguishers should be subject to a visual inspection once a month in order to ensure that they have not been damaged All of this has to comply with BS EN 3-7 BS 5306-3 and BS EN-3:3. Water foam and powder extinguishers have to be discharged and refilled every five years. Are you remembering all this

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Then there is the question of escape routes exit doors and more. Exit doors should be easy to open with a crash handle or simple thumb twist. Exit routes must not be blocked obviously. There is more. It all makes perfect sense but is simply beyond the comprehension of many businessmen who just want to get on with running their businesses and making a profit. This is why there are companies who have trained specialists – many of whom have served in the fire service – and know exactly how to spot any problem areas what sort of equipment you need and can ensure that you stay within the law. UK-FireRisk Assessments is a company that specialises in carrying out a building fire risk assessment of your premises and can provide you with the written report that you are required by law to keep and also advise on any equipment and training that your employees may need. http://www.uk-fireriskassessments.co.uk/ Graham Nicholson UK-Fire Risk Assessments Ltd The Stable office Young Oak Water Lane Oxton Notts NG25 0SH 0115 896 3814 infouk-fireriskassessments.co.uk

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