Posted: 16th October 2019
Within a commercial property, certain fire safety regulations must be adhered to. This is to ensure the property is safe for those working within it, as well as any customers or clients. There are currently nearly 20,000 commercial fires in the UK each year, so fire safety is of the utmost importance.
All commercial fire safety legislation in England and Wales falls under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which was designed specifically to simplify the existing legal requirements at that time.
With some minor exceptions, most commercial premises are bound by the following regulations.
Depending on the individual premises, commercial fire regulations may be the responsibility of:
Or anyone else who may have control of the building, such as a facilities manager, risk assessor or commercial property management company.
The individual who is responsible for these fire regulations being carried out is known as a ‘Responsible Person’. Every business must have at least one designated ‘Responsible Person’ and it is their responsibility to ensure that certain duties are carried out, action is taken to prevent fires and prevent injury or death if a fire does occur.
A ‘Responsible Person’ is accountable for:
The fire safety regulations for commercial buildings differ to residential properties in several ways and there are a number of procedures and regulations that must be adhered to in order to ensure the building is as safe as possible:
All businesses and commercial properties must have a regular fire risk assessment, which is the responsibility of the Responsible Person. This is one of the first things an inspecting officer from the fire authority would request to see if they inspected a commercial premises, alongside the fire safety log book.
Your fire risk assessment must:
Many commercial businesses choose to use a specialist fire risk assessor to carry out their risk assessment, but this is not obligatory.
Anyone in the company who carries out a fire assessment must be able to:
If a commercial business does not adhere to the required fire safety regulations, they face a fine, prosecution or in cases of extreme negligence, a prison term.
Fire safety regulations specify that commercial premises must be equipped with appropriate fire fighting equipment. This includes fire extinguishers as standard and, depending on the nature of the business, may also include sprinklers and hose reels.
Fire extinguishers in a commercial building must:
All businesses and commercial premises must, by law, have at least two fire safety signs visible:
Fire Action Notice – explains what to do in the event of a fire
Fire extinguisher ID sign – explains the type of fire extinguisher and its location
By law, all commercial premises must have an appropriate fire detection system in place. The system must be tested weekly and should be serviced at least every six months.
If your business is more at risk of a fire, such as a restaurant, an automatic system is recommended. Manual systems should suffice for lower risk business premises.
For all businesses, everyone in the building must be able to hear the alarm clearly and there must be a call point on every floor.
Emergency lighting is designed to provide light if the normal lighting in a building fails in a fire.
This type of lighting has three primary purposes:
Your emergency lights should be ‘flick-tested’ – turned on and off – monthly and serviced fully annually.
For any advice and assistance in fire safety, please contact the team and we will be more than happy to help.
If you find that you home or business is not within the operating area of Care Projects, then a good place to look is on the NICEIC website. Here is an up to date list of all NICEIC registered electricians such as Care Projects who will be able to assist you with your electrical needs.