Fire safety regulations guide: how can you reduce risk in your building?

All premises – whether commercial, private or open to the public – are required by law to comply with fire safety regulations. Often, the authorities will conduct a fire safety assessment on the premises, to ensure that the building has the required regulatory precautions in place, such as fire extinguishers and emergency escape routes. But, how do you go about making sure that the people on the premises have the information they need to avoid risking their safety at work? How can you make sure they’ll effectively evacuate in an emergency situation?

Fire safety regulations: premises are responsible for providing accurate fire safety instructions within the various buildings

Providing accurate fire safety instructions – that are accessible to any person that might be entering a building – is an integral part of reducing risk to safety in the event of an emergency situation.

This aspect of fire safety regulations applies to commercial or corporate business premises and privately owned buildings alike. Whether you’re a business owner or a home owner, you’ll need to consider the safety of the people on your premises.

Situating clear sets of fire safety instructions in strategic, clearly visible locations around your buildings is key to ensuring that you’re able to effectively reduce the risk that fires pose to the employees, clients and inhabitants on the premises.

Fire safety instructions are essentially a condensed guide to the emergency procedures in place on the premises. These procedures are in place to ensure that the building’s safety standards comply with the latest relevant regulations.

Often, these fire safety instructions will be located alongside fire-fighting equipment itself, such as the regulatory fire extinguishers that are likely to be placed around the building.

This ensures that any person will be able to easily scan the fire safety instructions before making use of the fire extinguishers, to make sure that they are able to best protect their personal safety while attempting to use the fire safety equipment available.

Regulatory fire safety instructions will contain information as to how a person is expected to act in the event of a fire-related emergency within the building. The fire safety guide will detail the emergency escape routes that are in place on the premises, providing clear instructions on how to quickly access these emergency escape routes.

Likewise, fire safety instructions will detail the emergency assembly points in place around the building. Once employees, clients, residents or members of the public have evacuated the building in an emergency situation, it’s likely that you’ll need to complete a regulatory roll call of the people who were signed into the building, to ensure that everyone has effectively exited the premises via the emergency escape routes.

These regulatory roll calls are especially vital in the case of schools, for example, where adults are responsible for the safety of minors in the event of a fire-related emergency.

Business and commercial premises are also required to provide regulatory training for their employees, to ensure that designated fire safety personnel can act effectively to prevent and manage emergency situations.

Often, the person responsible for planning and overseeing this regulatory fire safety training will be the premises’ Fire Safety Manager or Fire Safety Officer. This role often encompasses conducting an internal assessment, to ensure that the premises comply with the latest fire safety regulations.

The Fire Safety Manager will also head up training courses for employees of the business, ensuring that this training keeps pace with the latest fire safety regulations. In addition, the premises’ Fire Safety Team will manage the practical aspects of enforcing fire safety regulations within each building, such as ensuring that the buildings’ planned emergency escape routes are easily accessible and compliant with regulatory guidelines.

Fire safety regulations: how should you display your building’s fire safety instructions?

Guides to fire safety need to be easily interpreted by any person who enters the building. Their format should take into account both standard fire safety regulations and the demographic that’s likely to make use of the premises.

For example, if it’s a commercial or residential premises that specifically caters to children or young people, it’s likely that the building manager will want to take that into consideration when planning the design and placement of fire safety instructions.

  • Easily visible and readable

Part of this is ensuring that the fire safety instructions for the premises are displayed on panels that are large enough to cover all the regulatory information required, as well as being placed in locations that will appropriately guide people towards the building’s emergency escape routes, for example.

  • Permanently on display

These fire safety instructions must offer a permanent guide to any users of a building as to how they can reduce risk to their personal safety while on the premises. So, the relevant regulatory information – for example, detailing emergency escape routes or the location of fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment – must be permanently on show.

  • Accurate and up to date

The premises’ designated Fire Safety Team will likely be responsible for ensuring that the fire safety information that is displayed around all buildings is kept up to date and accurate, according to the latest fire safety regulations.

Fire safety regulations: further points to consider

Fire safety instructions usually include clear pictorial displays, for example maps and arrows demonstrating emergency escape routes through the building, as well as the emergency assembly points on the premises.

The same applies to instructions for using the fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment – such as fire alarms – located around the building, as pictorial instructions are often the easiest way to convey this information effectively.

Reducing the risk to personal safety of a building’s users is integral to complying with the fire safety regulations in force. So, make sure to bear in mind this quick Netatmo guide to fire safety instructions to help you ensure that you’re reducing the risk of a fire-related emergency on your premises.

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