Many business owners are unclear on the regulations that cover fire safety with regards to their premises. They aren’t sure what kind of fire precautions are needed and where they should be placed. The laws regarding fire safety were changed a few years ago.
Rather than simply telling business owners what fire extinguishers were needed and where, the new regulations are based around whether or not there is a risk of fire.
Your business should have a Responsible Person, who is in charge of carrying out risk assessments on your premises. The new legislation leaves it up to this Responsible Person to determine what fire risks are present and to ensure the correct safety measures are installed.
The Responsible Person may also have to nominate Competent Persons, who are trained to understand the hazards and risks involved.
Is there a risk of fire?
The important thing to remember is that the current regulations are based upon whether or not there is a risk of fire. By law your Responsible Person is required to carry out assessments to determine the level of risk. You do not need fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, in an area where there is no risk of fire.
For instance, your employee break room is highly likely to have some risk of fire. It probably contains several electrical appliances, as well as soft furnishings. Items that can start a fire, as well as things that are easily flammable, all contribute to the risk. In areas such as these, you will need fire safety equipment, like fire extinguishers.
In contrast, a communal stairwell is unlikely to need safety equipment. These are usually constructed to be escape routes in the event of a fire, so they are often made from non-flammable, or fire resistant, materials. Even if they have carpets or floor tiles, there are unlikely to be any sources of fire risk. By the time the carpet in your stairwells catches fire the building will be well past the stage where a fire extinguisher could solve the problem.
The Surest Way to be Safe is to Get in Touch
Because the laws regarding fire safety depend upon the risk in your particular premises, it is impossible for us to give you a definitive answer here as to whether or not you are legally required to have fire extinguishers. It is likely that some areas of your premises will require them, while others will not.
We can visit your premises in order to tell you exactly what fire extinguishers you need. Keep your premises, its occupants, and your assets protected. Get in touch today to book your free site survey.