According to the latest government statistics, more than a third of non-residential premises audited last year by FRAs (fire and rescue authorities) were not fully compliant with the government’s Fire Safety Order.
This is even more concerning when we look closer at the data; just 3% of premises in England and Wales were checked last year, so who knows what the standards were like in the other 97%. It’s quite possible that there are hundreds of thousands of non-domestic premises that are breaking the law, risking fines, potentially invalidating their insurance and most worryingly, endangering the safety of workers and the general public – these could include shops, factories, schools, offices, warehouses, restaurants, pubs and public buildings.
The areas in which premises were most commonly non-compliant were articles 9 – risk assessment; 14 – emergency routes and exits; and 17 – maintaining precautions. This is somewhat frustrating, as these common areas of non-compliance can be swiftly identified and managed with the correct advice and guidance.
It is essential we really promote how important it is to get a thorough and robust fire risk assessment completed in premises by someone who is suitably trained and experienced. In many cases it is actually the simple things that cost nothing to do – like clearing fire exit routes – which make a big difference.
Better training must also play a key part in fire safety management. Business owners need training to alert them of their responsibilities and the legal requirements of fire safety. Managers and supervisors need training to adequately implement the management standards and controls identified within the fire risk assessment. Fire marshals need training in the crucial role they play in preventing fires and then dealing with emergency situations, and then training of employees to play their part in ensuring the fire safety of the premises.
For advice and information on Fire Safty Training and Risk Assessments, please contact Alpha Training on 01903 871381.
You can see our full range of Fire Safety and Risk Assessment Courses on our website: http://www.alphahealthandsafety.com/training/fire-courses/
Source: SHP Online.