There’s so much to think about when you’re starting a new business, but it’s crucial not to overlook fire safety laws. Failure to comply could result in a fine or even a prison sentence, as well as putting you and your staff and customers in serious danger.
If you are the business owner and occupier of non-domestic premises, you are the “responsible person”, whose duty it is to ensure fire safety compliance. The exact details of what you must do will vary according to the type of business – for instance, hotels, care homes and nurseries understandably have more complex regulations than an office-based business does. It’s your responsibility to check – ignorance is not an excuse.
Your Minimum Duties
At a minimum, you must:
- Carry out a fire risk assessment of your premises
- Inform staff about any hazards and take steps to deal with those hazards
- Arrange and maintain a fire detection system
- Arrange and maintain fire safety equipment
- Create an emergency plan
- Provide your staff with fire safety information and training
Using a Professional Risk Assessor
You may carry out your fire safety duties yourself, using standard forms to help you. However, many businesses prefer to use the services of a professional assessor, which frees up your time and gives you greater peace of mind.
The assessor will consider:
- Emergency routes and exits
- The fire detection system
- The fire fighting equipment
- The storage of