Does your business or company premises meet fire regulations?
It has been estimated that fewer than 50% of businesses have carried out a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA).
Over the last 7 years there has been a move away from Fire Authorities inspecting small business premises. This has been for two main reasons;
a) Lack of manpower
b) Advent of the Workplace Regulations which puts the onus of fire safety very much on the owner or the occupier.
* If you currently have a fire certificate issued under the Fire Precautions act 1971 and are, a hotel with sleeping accommodation for over 6 persons, or a premises which employs more than 10 persons above or below the ground floor or a premises which employs more than 20 persons in the building, next year under the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) currently passing through Parliament this fire certificate will disappear.
This will repeal the Fire Precautions Act and in effect make your fire certificate obsolete!
In its place you will required to have carried out a FRA (in theory you should already have one). All premises, which employ 5 or more persons, will be required to have a valid and current FRA. Premises employing less than 5 persons will need to carry out a FRA, which need not be written down, but all employees need to be aware of this
The RRO became law early in 2005.
It is intended by HM government that there will be a publicity campaign to inform commerce and industry.
It is likely that Fire Authorities will pick selective premises for inspection and react in a similar way to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE currently carry out spot checks and investigate premises that are believed to have contravened Health & Safety Legislation.
* This is not meant to be a full descriptive version of the FP Act 1971