It has sadly taken a tragic recent event to bring fire safety back into sharp focus in the public consciousness.
As was the case following the King’s Cross fire on the London Underground and the fire at Bradford City Football Club in the 1980s, there are expected to be far-reaching consequences when analysing and addressing the issues raised by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Such a hugely devastating and highly symbolic fire has sent shockwaves through the nation, as people look to find out what went wrong, provide community assistance to those affected, and learn how such a disaster can be prevented from ever happening again.
Fire safety is back in the spotlight.
Have your clients had a recent fire risk assessment?
Whether it’s commercial or residential property, a care home or a charity organisation, offices or shops, a school or a hospital – or indeed any other property type – it is important that your clients know that their buildings have been recently assessed for fire risk in accordance with the latest regulations*.
First, it must be determined who has responsibility for fire safety. According to gov.uk, those responsible for fire safety in business/non-domestic properties could include an employer, a property owner, the landlord, the occupier and anyone else with control of the premises (such as a buildings manager, facilities manager or managing agent).
Any business with 5 or more employees must keep a written record of their fire risk assessment. Landlords of homes of multiple occupancy (HMOs) may also be required to undertake a fire risk assessment.
It is also clear that recommendations made to responsible people following audits should be carried out, with procedures reviewed and amended to reflect such guidance and advice.
* Each area in the UK has its own regulations:
England & Wales: Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005
Scotland: The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006
Northern Ireland: The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010
Now is the time for action
With a public inquiry into Grenfell called, and with a major national investigation into the use of cladding on buildings also announced recently, fire legislation and regulations will likely change for all types of buildings in the aftermath of this horrific event. Being on the front foot in addressing issues is in everybody’s best interests to avoid a fire on the scale of Grenfell ever happening again.
You can help your clients
The qualified risk management team at Compass can provide a fire risk assessment from £700+VAT. The fire risk assessment can help your clients:
- Identify fire hazards
- Identify people at risk
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
- Record findings
- Prepare an emergency plan and deliver training