Fires can threaten any business! A fire can cause injury, death and devastating effects to your premises, functioning of your business. Fires can also significantly damage the environment by destroying homes, wildlife habitats and polluting the air with harmful emissions and therefore it is vital that all staff engage in fire safety awareness.
Fire Safety Awareness Statistics – Did you know? The government spent around £3 billion on fire protection services in the United Kingdom between 2019 and 2020? Data from the Fire and Rescue Service indicates that fire service members attended to approximately 539 225 incidents in the year ending September 2020. Fire marshals attended to around five hundred fifty-five thousand eight hundred seventy-seven incidents involving fires in 2019, indicating a 30 per cent decline from the previous year. Statistics show that 30% of fire incidents were real fires and, 42 per cent of the incidents accounted for false alarms. False incidents waste time and money in terms of resources.
It is therefore essential for all of us to play our part by educating ourselves on how to prevent and reduce fires. This can help the government redirect resources wasted on avoidable fire incidents false alarms to other areas such as Education or Health care (Home Office, 2020).
The Grenfell Tower incidents which broke the nation’s hearts killing 72 people could have been saved if the authorities responsible had put the appropriate cladding in place. The type of cladding used burnt easily and had failed fire tests consistently for twelve years before the Grenfell incident, and it did not meet the building standards in England (Symonds, 2021). This incident unfolded severe failings across the whole system of building and managing high-rise homes.
Fire Safety Order legislation 2005
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 provides a framework for regulating fire safety in all non-domestic premises, including workplaces and the parts of multi-occupied residential buildings commonly used in England and Wales.
Employers, occupiers, landlords, owners are all responsible for ensuring that their businesses or non-domestic premises follows the FSO (2005) and The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). All responsible people must take measures that minimise fires such as installing effective systems, putting controls and processes in place for emergency services to be called quickly before the fire spreads. Responsible persons must also ensure that safe evacuation procedure are in place in case of a fire.
Responsible persons are also required to carry out regular fire risk assessments and reviews, inform staff or occupants about any identified risks, implement, and maintain appropriate fire safety measures, provide information, train, and plan for emergencies. Responsible persons by law must engage all staff in fire safety awareness sessions to prevent and protect individuals in the premises. Non-domestic premises include all workplaces, commercial and public premises the public has access to and the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.
Local Fire and Rescue authorities are permitted to visit premises to identify risk assessments, check if prevention measures are in place, assist responsible persons in understanding and complying with them. They are empowered to take necessary action or give notice, for example, alternation notice, enforcement or appeals and penalties if your premises lacks adequate fire safety measures. However, in certain circumstances, a responsible person and the fire rescue authority can ask a determination from the Home secretary to resolve a dispute (House of Commons: Fire Safety Bill Briefing Paper, (2021)
As part of the government’s work to ensure people are safe in their homes, unlimited fines will be given to anyone caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector and those in breach of the fire safety regulations under the Fire Safety Order.
Coral & Reed understands the importance of upskilling all staff in regards to Fire Safety awareness. Our classroom group sessions that are available in the Langley Training centre can be booked for your convenience with one of our experienced tutors. Alternatively, and conveniently, you can choose to use our online learning portal at www.coralandreed.com where you can purchase credits in bulk optimising on bulk buying. Get in touch with us and find out how we can assist you in your fire training needs at email@example.com. All our learning resources and training materials meet CQC requirements, Skills for Care and Skills for Health standards.