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Workplace Fire Safety Regulations In 2023 – What Requirements Do You Need To Meet?

Fire safety regulations are there to protect you, your business, you own staff and customers, and neighbouring businesses. All organisations with a physical building require certain features that help to prevent, detect, and safely deal with fires that may arise. 

If you are not up to date on what the latest UK Fire Safety Regulations are, continue reading as we outline the various elements that you require in order to comply. We still recommend that you get in touch with us to discuss your fire safety situation if you are unsure, as that way we can provide you with accurate business-specific information.

Fire Alarms

Whilst it is not a legal requirement to have fire alarms for all businesses, it is required that all businesses have an appropriate fire detection system, which can either be manual or automatic.

The regulations state that everybody within your building must clearly be able to hear the alert from wherever they are, so if somebody shouting ‘fire’ wouldn’t reach all occupants, an alarm system should be in place.

Regardless of your business type and size, we recommend some form of fire alarm system – whether small or large – as they are more reliable at alerting occupants and in keeping everybody safe.

Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is required on your premises in order to supply light to important areas in case your normal lighting fails during a fire. If your building doesn’t have enough borrowed light (from street lights for example) to exit the building safely, has any danger areas such as kitchens, or has any rooms larger than 60 square metres, then an emergency lighting system should be in place.

In order to keep your emergency lighting system in working order, as well as legally compliant, it must be tested and serviced properly. Your emergency lights should be serviced at least annually by a professional engineer, and should undergo a 3 hour ‘drain’ test each year, where your normal lighting is turned off and the building runs on the emergency system for 3 hours. Finally, you should flick test your lights on a monthly basis, ensuring that they still light up.

Extinguishers / Equipment

The UK’s Fire Safety Regulations currently require you to provide appropriate fire-fighting equipment, which may include fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and hose reels.

For most businesses, all that is required is a sufficient number of fire extinguishers across the site, with the minimum being two on each floor.

If you fall into the high-risk business category – such as restaurants or chemical storage facilities – then you will need additional equipment such as hose reels and sprinkler systems in order to stay effectively safe.

Risk Assessment & Logbook

One of the first things that an inspecting fire authority officer will ask to see if they inspect your premises is a suitable fire risk assessment, and it will form the foundation of a comprehensive safety plan and strategy for your organisation.

Your fire risk assessment must:

  • Be written out and documented on the premises if your business has more than 5 employees, or if your premises require a licence
  • Be reviewed and updated regularly to cover any potential changes to your organisation
  • Record and clearly show any main findings of hazards or potential risks, and action that needs to be taken

All businesses must also have a fire safety logbook present on the premises at all times. This is so that anyone who might need access to it can do so easily.

Your fire safety logbook should include details on fire safety equipment such as extinguishers, fire doors, and alarms, and fire safety procedures.

Training & Drills

Fire drills and fire safety training are some of the most essential elements in keeping all occupants safe in the event of a fire, as they will help everyone to act safely and effectively in the incident of an emergency.

UK fire safety regulations require that you carry out annual refresher sessions on fire safety, regular fire drills, and training updates whenever there’s a change to your building or its layout.

Fire safety is an extremely important element that all businesses must get right. Adhering to the current fire safety regulations not only allows your business to continue operating legally, it eliminates the risk of large fines, and most importantly, can save lives.

If you need help understanding your busines’’s current fire safety situation, need help installing or maintaining systems, or have any questions relating to fire safety, get in touch with us today. Our experienced team are here to help you remain safe.