Monday, June 24, 2013

Fire Safety Risk Assessments

why are fire risk assessments are necessary evils in today's age. Nobody wants to do them, but they need to be done to keep with government regulations and to ensure the safety of employees, customers, and entire neighborhoods. Understanding what they are and who is responsible for them is one of the most important parts of being a business owner.

 Who is supposed to do the fire risk assessments?

Usually the owner, landlord, or head employer is the one responsible for this task. In some regions it may be someone else, so check your local guidelines. Whatever your role in the business, if you're the one in charge of the fire risk assessments, you are referred to as the "responsible person".

How often should they be done?

 The exact amount required differs between administrative areas. They can be required as little as every six months or as much as every five years and will certainly need reviewing if the business or premises change significantly within that time. During this time the responsible person may change so keep on top of whose responsibility it is if not your own.

Why should they be done?

As a task that is rarely fun and not a big money maker if there are more "important" things to do, it's important to realize just how necessary it is in the long run. Assessments are required for you, your business, and your entire neighborhood. Not only are you responsible for the health and safety of your employees and customers, but your neighborhood is counting on your safety as well. If your restaurant or shop goes up in smoke, it puts all of your neighbors in danger as well.

What happens if I don't do it?

If you do not do regular fire safety assessments, you may be fined or even imprisoned. Likewise, your local fire authorities will probably conduct regular inspections of their own, so you need to be on top of what's going on with your building.

How do I perform one?

First you must carefully inspect your premises and identify any potential fire hazards. Once they have been identified, consider how likely it is that ignition may occur and who may be in danger should that happen. The next step should be obvious: reduce the risk and / or the severity of potential harm. This may be as simple as moving flammable
objects away from sites of regular ignition (such as in a kitchen) or as complicated as remapping your entire premises. While you are doing this, make sure that there are proper escape routes in your place of business.Make sure your employees are aware of the escape routes and keep a map handy. As a final precaution, make sure all of your employees are trained in fire safety and what they should do in case of an emergency.

Anything else?

Always be vigilant about fire safety. Double check your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers to make sure they don't need to be replaced. Assess that the handicapped can get out in an emergency as easily as mobile people. Above all else, however, remember why you are doing this - not just because it's the law, but because you are the responsible person in the society.

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