COLUMN: Fire safety at the forefront of minds after Grenfell tragedy

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Following the horrific events that took place at the Grenfell Tower Block in London recently fire safety has been thrust to the forefront of many peoples minds and we are pleased that people responsible for their buildings are taking fire safety more seriously as a result.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the main statutory piece of legislation that covers fire safety standards for the majority of buildings throughout the country. Introduced in 2005, this legislation removed the requirement for the fire authority to issue a ‘fire certificate’ and replaced this with a ‘fire risk assessment’ carried out by the ‘responsible person’ or a competent person that they appoint.

Under these regulations, the “responsible person” is legally required to ensure that the fire risk assessment is carried out and to deal with any problems that were highlighted during that assessment. The definition of the “responsible person” is typically the person who has primary responsibility for a premises. This could include facilities managers, owners of premises and managers of buildings, landlords or tenants.

Often we find people become unstuck at the fire risk assessment stage; either they do not know who is responsible for carrying it out, they attempt to carry one out in house and do not fully appreciate the risks and controls, or they have carried one out years ago and have never reviewed it.

A failure to suitably and sufficiently carry out a fire risk assessment could lead to the local fire authority issuing the premises with, improvement notices, fines or in the worst case scenario being told to stop trading until action is taken to make the premises compliant.

Prestige Safety Services have been offering Free Fire Safety Audits for some time to members of local chambers of commerce and have seen many businesses take advantage of this offer. With recent events bringing fire into the spot light we would like to open this up to more local businesses through the local press.

By carrying out a Free Fire Safety Audit we can review your fire risk assessment and your premises and identify areas of both poor and effective fire safety management. A no obligation report is written and submitted to your business which identifies both compliance and any failings against the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

This is an absolutely free service with no obligations, to help people understand the safety of themselves and others in the workplace.

If you are concerned about your work place or want to take advantage of a professional, qualified, second opinion then get in touch with Prestige Safety Services on telephone 0800 246 5014, email info@prestigesafetyservices.com or through the website www.prestigesafetyservices.com. Prestige Safety Services can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.