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Fire is a real problem across the world. For example, in the US $10.6 billion of property damage was caused in 2016 alone. Individuals and businesses are getting better at preventing fires and making sure that if there is a fire there are no fatalities.
But there is such a concept as a fire responsible person. In practice, this is the responsible person for fire safety in the workplace. They’re responsible for adhering to fire safety regulations.
Let’s look at exactly what they do and how you should choose one.
Who Should Be in Charge of Fire Risk Assessments?
You can’t simply choose anyone to be in charge of fire risk assessments. The fire responsible person must have a certain degree of control over the company. It doesn’t have to be the owner, but it should be someone who exercises control over the company’s operations.
That’s the pool you must choose from by law. There’s nothing wrong with having others who support them in their duties, but by law, the designated person must have a degree of control over the company’s operations.
Taking General Fire Precautions
Fire safety regulations state that the fire responsible person must take general fire precautions. This means they must regularly conduct a detailed risk assessment of the workplace and the people who’re exposed.
They also have to take basic precautions to reduce the risk of fire and to stop it from spreading. This could include installing fire doors and making sure the fire extinguishers are checked regularly.
It’s not as strenuous as it sounds, and it won’t take more than a few hours per year to make sure that your company meets the necessary requirements of the regulations.
What are the Risks of Not Complying with the Regulations?
These are not regulations in place to scare people. They’re not optional and legal action has been taken before. It’s quite possible that in the event of a death by fire the responsible person could be prosecuted if they didn’t comply with fire regulations. This also applies even if there isn’t a fire.
Surprise inspections of the premises are not irregular and if offenses are committed legal action can and will be taken. People in the past have been prosecuted and sent to prison because they repeatedly didn’t comply.
Make sure you look up the fire regulations now. Make sure all the points of exit are unobstructed and are unlocked at all times from the inside. Check that your alarms are working and in good condition, if you are unsure of how to do this then we can help.
And importantly, make sure you keep accurate records of the inspections you perform.
Last Word – Are You the Fire Responsible Person?
The first step you should take after reading this guide is to appoint a responsible person for fire safety. They must have some control over the company and be willing to take the role seriously.
Then you should conduct a risk assessment and make the appropriate changes.
Do you have a person responsible for fire safety and are you complying with safety regulations?