Recording, Planning, Informing, Instructing and Training
FIRE SAFETY RECORDS
You will need to record the hazards and people you have identified as especially at risk from the risk assessment. You should also record what was done to reduce risks and need to make an emergency plan, tailored to your premises.
If your organisation employs five or more people, you must record the findings of your fire risk assessment and the actions you’ve taken. The record should include:
• Fire hazards you’ve identified
• People who may be at risk
• Protective measures you’ve taken or will take to remove / reduce the risk to people
• Procedures that need to be followed in case of fire, including details of any people nominated to carry out a particular function
• Information, instruction and training that people need and how it will be given
In some small low risk premises, record keeping may be no more than a folder containing a few sheets of paper with the significant findings, the action taken and a copy of the emergency plan. It’s good practice to attach a simple plan of the premises to your record too. Keep a dedicated record of the following information:
• Significant findings
• Action taken
• Systems for the maintenance and regular testing of fire precautions
• Training given
• A copy of the emergency plan
It is essential to have an emergency evacuation plan for your premises. This plan will need to deal with any fire situation and its purpose is to make sure that people on your premises know what to do if there’s a fire and the premises has to be evacuated.
INFORM AND INSTRUCT
Clear, relevant information and appropriate instructions must be given to staff and other people working on site, such as contractors, informing them what they need to do if there’s a fire. The information and instructions you provide must be in a form that’s easily understood and should take into account those with disabilities, learning difficulties and those for whom English is not their first language. Staff should be given training on induction and regularly thereafter, depending on the level of risk.
The information and instruction you give should be based on your emergency plan and must include:
• Your risk assessment findings
• Measures you’ve put in place to reduce the risk of fire
• What staff should do if there’s a fire
• Clear identification of the people in the organisation who have fire safety responsibilities
(such as fire marshals)
In small premises where no significant risks have been identified, information and instruction could simply involve an explanation of the fire procedures and how they’re applied. This could include showing staff escape routes, how to use fire extinguishers and where they are located. In bigger premises, you should make sure that written instructions are given to
those people who have designated tasks.
Co-operate and co-ordinate: where a premises is owned by someone else or there are multiple occupiers, it’s important that you inform others of any significant risks that you’ve identified.
By talking to other occupiers, you can co-ordinate your resources so that your actions and working practices don’t place others at risk, and so that a co-ordinated emergency plan operates effectively.
FIRE SAFETY TRAINING
You must provide adequate training for your staff. The type of training will depend on the premises but should:
• Reflect the findings of the fire risk assessment
• Explain your emergency procedures
• Explain the duties and responsibilities of staff
• Take place in normal working hours and be repeated periodically
• Be easily understandable by staff
• Be tested by fire drills
The responsibilities of staff will include, for example, a weekly test of a fire detection and alarm system by operating a manual call point.
In small premises, showing new staff the fire exits and giving basic training on what to do if there’s a fire should be adequate. However, in larger premises with a high staff turnover and shift patterns, your staff training should involve:
• The general fire precautions in the premises
• What to do on discovering a fire
• How to raise the alarm
• What to do when you hear an alarm
• Procedures for alerting members of the public and visitors
• Arrangements for calling the emergency services
• Evacuation procedures
• Location and use of fire fighting equipment
• The location of emergency exits
• The importance of keeping fire doors closed
All staff identified in your emergency plan that have a supervisory role (such as fire marshals) should be given details of your fire risk assessment and receive additional training.