The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO), which extends to non-domestic premises and the communal areas of houses in multiple occupations (HMOs) in England and Wales, charges the “responsible person” with the safety of everyone on the premises at any time, whether working, visiting or sleeping there.
The duties of the responsible person(s) are specified in articles 8 through 22 of the RRFSO, encompassing the need to take general fire precautions, undertake a fire risk assessment, and make appropriate fire safety arrangements, to include “the effective planning, organization, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures” (article 11).
This requires a comprehensive system of checking, maintaining, and repairing all fire safety equipment on an ongoing and regular basis, together with the appropriate level of training in fire safety for any employees. All tests and maintenance must be recorded as it is a legal requirement, by virtue of the RRFSO, that the fire safety activities of the responsible person(s) can be audited by the relevant authorities at any time.
In addition, HM government guidelines advise of the need to create a plan to deal with any emergency and keep a record of your findings together with any action taken in consequence, to include instructing/training relevant others in the organization (“A short guide to making your premises safe from fire”) download templates below. It is also important to undertake a regular review of your fire risk assessment, as over time the situation can change: for example, if the use of the premises alters, or the building itself undergoes structural modification.
The more detailed HM government fire safety risk assessment guides for specific types of non-domestic premises, e.g. small / medium / large places of assembly, offices, and shops, and sleeping accommodation, advise of the benefits of keeping a fire safety logbook. The following is an extract from “Fire safety risk assessment: offices and shops” (May 2006, p 105):
“7.1 Fire safety records Keeping up-to-date records of your fire risk assessment can help you effectively manage the fire strategy for your premises and demonstrate how you are complying with fire safety law. Even if you do not have to record the fire risk assessment, it can be helpful to keep a record of any co-operation and exchange of information made between employers and other responsible people for future reference. In larger and more complex premises, it is best to keep a dedicated record of all maintenance of fire-protection equipment and training. In all cases, the quality of records may also be regarded as a good indicator of the overall quality of the safety management structure. Your records should be kept in a specified place on the premises (for example, in the management’s office).”
At p 29 of this publication, there is guidance on the types of fire safety equipment and installation that require regular checking and maintenance and the test schedules appropriate for each, from fire exits and fire doors through fire/smoke alarms and emergency lighting to fire extinguishers and hose reels. Not all will apply to every building, and the guide does note that the examples are not intended to be prescriptive, but this comprehensive approach offers a useful insight into the various elements of fire safety provision that should be considered, depending on the size, usage, and occupation of your premises:
- Remove bolts, padlocks, and security devices from fire exits.
- Ensure that doors on escape routes swing freely and that fire doors close fully and check escape routes to ensure they are clear from obstructions and combustible materials.
- Check the fire alarm panel to ensure the system is active and fully operational.
- Where practicable, visually check that emergency lighting units are in good repair and working.
- Check that all safety signs and notices are legible.
Weekly tests and checks
- Test fire-detection and warning systems and manually-operated warning devices weekly following the manufacturer’s or installer’s instructions.
- Check the batteries of safety torches and those fire extinguishers and hose reels are correctly located and in apparent working order. Fire pumps and standby diesel engines should be tested for 30 minutes each week.
Monthly tests and checks
- Test all emergency lighting systems and safety torches to make sure they have enough charge and illumination according to the manufacturer’s or supplier’s instructions. This should be at an appropriate time when, following the test, they will not be immediately required.
- Check that fire doors are in good working order and closing correctly and that the frames and seals are intact.
Six-monthly tests and checks
- A competent person should test and maintain the fire-detection and warning system.
Annual tests and checks
- The emergency lighting and all fire fighting equipment, fire alarms, and other installed systems should be tested and maintained by a competent person. Some fire extinguishers can be tested by the owner (Britannia P50).
- All structural fire protection and elements of fire compartmentation should be inspected and any remedial action carried out.”
You can download many templates of printed logbooks or simply download a free Fire Safety Log Book to ensure that you address all the appropriate issues in respect of fire safety in your premises. As well as being a useful tool for monitoring and recording all relevant activities, the Log Book will also act as an aide-memoire for all the ongoing checks, maintenance, and repairs of equipment required, together with training and review procedures.
General Fire Safety Requirements
Means of Escape
- Fire doors are provided to prevent the spread of heat and smoke. Keep them shut and do not prop them or remove self-closing devices.
- Keep corridors and stairways clear of storage and waste material.
- Ensure that final exit doors can be readily opened from the inside without the use of a key.
- Keep areas outside final exit doors clear of obstructions at all times.
- Always ensure that exits are clearly indicated, with the exit signs visible from the furthermost part of a room. ( read more: Fire-emergency-evacuation-plan-and-the-fire-procedure/).
Fire Alarm System
Always ensure that the fire alarm system is in working order and that staff knows how to use it, recognize the alarm actuation tone, and what action to take on hearing the alarm.( read more : E-books-fire-alarm-systems-a-reference-manual/ ).
- Ensure that all staff knows where the extinguishers are sited and how to operate them safely.
- Always ensure that they are inspected and maintained regularly.
Emergency and General Lighting
- Ensure that all lighting systems are checked and maintained regularly.
- Replace any defective bulbs/components immediately.
Instructions to Staff and Guests
Staff will need to be aware of their responsibilities in the event of an emergency. They should know how to:
- Raise the alarm.
- Call the Fire Brigade.
- Know when not to tackle a fire.
- Know the correct evacuation procedures for the premises.
Guests and Visitors
- Ensure that all guests/visitors to the premises are aware of the actions to take in the event of an emergency.
- Premises that take in foreign guests should have their fire instruction notices printed in the appropriate language.
Electrical Equipment and Installations
Fires occurring in electrical equipment are increasing due to the improper use, application, or lack of maintenance of the equipment. To reduce the risk of fire all electrical appliances should be maintained under the provisions of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
- Wiring should be regularly checked and renewed if necessary.
- Ensure that correct fuses are fitted to all electrical appliances and fuse boxes.
- Disconnect plugs of all appliances from the mains electricity when not in use.
- Keep boiler houses clear – do not use them as an extra storeroom.
- Keep portable heating appliances away from furniture and any combustible materials.
- Empty all ashtrays.
- Never permit smoking in storerooms.
- Be vigilant in areas where people smoke and provide adequate ashtrays.
- Before leaving rooms which will be unoccupied for long periods, or in which persons will be sleeping, make a final check for any lighted cigarette ends, these may have fallen into the recess of an armchair, on the carpet, or on the bedclothes when someone fell asleep.
Many arson attacks are preceded by petty vandalism and theft, moving onto small fires, which get bigger and more ambitious over a period of time. The proper management of waste materials can remove an easy opportunity target of the arsonist, deliberate fires set incombustible materials next to buildings can quickly spread to the premises themselves which can lead to a complete loss of the building and even the business itself. Help to protect your premises against arson by;
- Locking away any flammable liquids or gases
- Effectively secure your premises at the end of the day
- Keep refuse and debris secure and away from the perimeter of the building.
The Contents of the Fire Safety Logbook
1. Useful Contacts
2. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
3. General Fire Safety Requirements
4. Fire Alarm System
5. Unwanted Fire Signals
6. Emergency Lighting System
8. Sprinkler Systems
9. Smoke Ventilation Systems
10. Miscellaneous Provisions
11. Fire Instruction and Training
12. Fire Evacuation and Drills
13. Fire Risk Assessment
14. Business Continuity and Planning
Download the book
You can download many templates (Zip File )of printed logbooks or simply download a free Fire Safety Log Book to ensure that you address all the appropriate issues in respect of fire safety in your premises. As well as being a useful tool for monitoring and recording all relevant activities, the Log Book will also act as an aide-memoire for all the ongoing checks, maintenance, and repairs of equipment required, together with training and review procedures.
Fire safety Logbook templates Zip file
Fire safety Logbook Template Editable Document
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