Do you own a business premises?
Do you, your family or anybody else sleep at or above the premises?
If so, fire safety law applies and you may need to take action.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service have recently began a period of inspecting businesses where upper floors are being used for sleeping accommodation. In many cases it has come to light that people are sleeping in rooms or flats above businesses where inadequate fire precautions are in place to protect them.
In these circumstances, a fire in the ground floor business carries with it a high risk of serious injury or worse to those above. People living on upper floors can find it difficult to evacuate quickly and safely in an emergency unless a safe exit route is available and they can be made aware of a fire below them.
What must I do?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 makes you responsible for taking steps to protect the people using your premises from the risk of fire.
- Carry out a fire risk assessment
- If necessary, improve your fire safety measures and reduce the risk
What is a fire risk assessment?
It is a thorough look at your premises and the people who are likely to be in them. It considers the risk of fire breaking out and what measures you need to put in place to prevent it and keep people safe in the event a fire does occur.
You can significantly reduce the danger of an injury in case of fire to those sleeping above your premises by carrying out the following:
- Fit an alarm to provide early warning of fire which can be heard throughout the building
- Protect and separate the ground and upper floors, including staircases, with fire resisting construction to ensure your exit route is safe
- Make sure everyone in the premises knows how to get out of the building in the case of fire