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Does Your Business Have a Fire Strategy?

Fire safety is a topic that we hear and see so much about, and for very good reason. All businesses in the UK should have a well -thought through fire strategy in place to protect themselves, their staff and their goods in the event of a fire. This can also ensure your business complies with all the relevant health and safety legislation in the UK.

Here at First Mats, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your business’s perfect fire strategy by providing all the information you need in this guide.

What Is A Fire Strategy?

A fire strategy is a way in which fire safety objectives for a new, altered or existing building are defined and achieved. It is usually presented in the form of a report and defines the fire safety objectives and performance requirements for a building or business, and the methods by which these objectives will be provided to ensure the safety of occupants and property protection.

Double Sided Fire Exit Sign With DOWN Arrow - Photoluminescent

Why Does My Business Need A Fire Strategy?

First and foremost, your business needs a fire strategy to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This replaces most fire safety legislation in the UK with one simple order. It means that any person who has some level of control in premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire.

The order applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space including:

  • offices and shops
  • premises that provide care, including care homes and hospitals
  • community halls, places of worship and other community premises
  • pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • schools and sports centres
  • tents and marquees
  • hotels and hostels
  • factories and warehouses

How Can My Business Meet This Order?

This order places a clear emphasis on risk assessment. It means that any person who has some level of control in premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure that everyone can safely escape if there is a fire. Other factors that the appointed responsible person within your business must ensure are:

  • Carry out, and record, a fire risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks.
  • Identify people, employees, visitors or members of the public on your premises, who may be especially at risk.
  • Reduce, or where possible remove, the risk of fire and take precautions to deal with the remaining risks.
  • Put in place protection measures if there are flammable or explosive materials used or stored on the premises.
  • Develop an emergency plan should a fire occur which includes evacuation procedures.
  • Regularly review the risk assessment and emergency plan.

Having a fire strategy also provides peace of mind and security to the people within your premises to ensure appropriate arrangements, such as fire procedures and the use and maintenance of fire safety measures, are firmly practised and in place in the event of a fire, and that the business can get up and running as quickly as possible after a fire.

It will also help to ensure that the risk of a fire occurring is minimised and controlled as much as possible to avoid a fire from breaking out suddenly.

Double 6 to 9 Ltr/Kg Rotational Moulded Fire Extinguisher Cabinet

What Should A Fire Strategy Include?

Your fire strategy should include several elements to ensure the safety of your business, of which there are seven main ones to consider:

  1. Fire legislation: This includes the minimum requirements outlined in the building regulations, including project-specific solutions that have used fire engineering such as smoke modelling or evacuation modelling, based upon the layout of the building.
  2. Means of escape: This looks at the escape routes within the business and takes into consideration the occupancy of the premises, travel distances and disabled evacuation.
  3. Fire spread and control: This looks at how quickly a fire could be able to spread and takes into consideration the building materials, fire rating of walls and doors, fire alarms and emergency lighting, as well as access and location of firefighting equipment.
  4. Construction: this includes the fire resistance of the building(s) including the elements of structure, fire suppressant systems as well as internal and external wall coverings.
  5. Fire service access: this section within the fire strategy report describes the applicable design standards for emergency vehicle access, fire extinguishers, location and number of access points and the dry/wet rising fire mains.
  6. Fire safety management: this includes communication to all staff and members of the business about the control of evacuation and fire safety planning, both of which should be regularly reviewed and updated.
  7. Fire strategy recommendations: this part of the fire strategy report will be specific to your business as it depends on the building itself, as well as the employees and operations that take place inside.
Wireless Sound Activated Fire Door Closer

Who Should Create A Fire Strategy Report?

Assigning a competent person who is responsible for ensuring your business complies with current regulations and undertakes regular reviews, assessments and safety protection measures is a valuable way to improve the fire safety standards in your workplace.

According to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all businesses and commercial properties must determine and assign a ‘responsible person’. This person should hold the responsibility of developing a fire strategy, completing the fire safety checks in your premises such as the weekly/monthly checks, as well as looking after the day-to-day fire safety needs and equipment of the business.

Final Word

As made clear from the points above, the purpose of a fire strategy report is to understand potential risks and what you need to do as a business to minimise them. This information is vital to ensure you remain efficient as a business, whilst also putting the safety of your staff first. After all, higher safety standards mean a safer work environment for all involved.

At First Mats, we pride ourselves on always putting safety first. You can find an extensive range of fire safety equipment that can help to ensure your business’ fire strategy creates optimum safety for your building and its occupants, as well as comply with the relevant regulations.