May 19, 2023

Fire safety compliance, how do i comply, what do i need to do?

Protecting your people and premises from the risk of fire is a legal requirement. As an owner or occupier, responsibility for prevention, suppression and evacuation lies with you, so it’s vital that all staff and residents are educated in the things they can do to help reduce the dangers of fire.
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What is fire safety compliance?

It's aim is to prevent fires from starting and to mitigate the effects of fire.

Keeping up with Fire Safety Compliance will protect buildings from irreversible fire damage. According to Government Fire Statistics, many destructive fires often arise from misuse of electrical equipment, faulty wiring, electrical heating systems, and arson.

What must I do to comply with fire safety law?

Summit Environmental - Log Book

Carry out fire risk assessments, which identify any potential dangers or risks, consider who the relevant people are who have the greatest risk, remove or reduce the risk of fire as much as possible and provide general fire precautions, ensure fire safety equipment is operational and maintained, and provide appropriate training.

A fire risk assessment is an organized and methodical look at the premises, the activities carried on there and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises. 

You must:

The first essential steps are:

  • Appoint a “Responsible Person” who has the time, authority and experience to lead your fire safety management programme. The responsible person is a person who has sufficient experience, knowledge and has received enough training to be proactive in the prevention of fire. The responsible person can be: the employer, the owner, the company.
  • Display a Health and Safety Law poster prominently in the premises either at reception or in a communal or staff area.
  • Display a Fire Action Sign detailing what to do in the event of fire, the designated escape route and fire assembly point. Larger premises, and those having several floors or more than one fire exit door may need more than one.
  • Display a ‘No Smoking Sign’ at each public entrance to the premises
  • Fire doors - make sure they have fire door signs fitted, the doors are installed correctly and sited in the frame and maintained to satisfactory standards.
  • Invest in a fire log book. If you employ 5 or more staff you have to document your fire safety management records and a fire safety log book is laid out to make this job easier.
  • Ensure your fire safety equipment is checked, tested and serviced, making sure that the fire safety equipment you have is adequate for the job if a fire does arise is essential. This is why testing the functionality of the equipment is so important.

What fire safety equipment needs to be serviced?

Fully functioning systems are vital to the safety of your business or those those working in or visiting a premises. If you identify any faults with the systems, any required maintenance or repairs should be carried in order to stay compliant with fire safety regulations. routine checks that should be carried out by the competent person, or a qualified professional.

Fire safety equipment that need regular checks or servicing includes:

  • Fire alarms
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire doors
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Sprinkler systems`
  • Dry and wet risers
  • Means of Escape

You should also make sure to make a note of all checks in your fire log book – daily checks on fire safety equipment don’t necessarily need to be documented, as these are mainly basic visual checks, but weekly, monthly, biannual checks should be documented.

Daily checks

Fire alarm system

Visually check the fire alarm system’s panel daily to ensure that no faults are indicated. The panel should be showing that all indicators are ‘normal’. Any emergency whistles, gongs and air horns should be in place, and smoke alarms should be visually checked for damage. Make sure you check that previous faults have been rectified.

Weekly checks

Fire extinguisher checks
Fire alarm system

On a weekly basis, the fire alarm system should be tested from a different call point each week, ensuring that all equipment attached to the alarm activates (such as sounders, smoke vents, disabled equipment). And check that any doors fitted with automatic releases are activated by automatic fire detection and alarm system, and that all lifts return to the ground floor.

Fire extinguishers

All fire extinguishers should be in place and visible with no obstructions present. Make sure that they are in the right location and that the tag and safety clip are in place. Fire hydrants outside should be checked for accessibility, nothing should be blocking their path (such as vehicles).

Sprinkler systems

Ensure that the points aren’t blocked, check that the water supply is sufficient, record findings in the fire log book and of course report any defects to the responsible person.

Dry & wet risers

Same as above, ensure that the points aren’t blocked, check that the water supply is sufficient, record findings in the fire log book and of course report any defects to the Responsible person.

Escape routes

All fire exits should be able to be opened easily, with no obstructions in the way. The emergency fastening devices (push bars etc.) should be working correctly and escape routes should be clear (make sure there is signage in place). Don’t forget your external fire escape routes.

Monthly checks

Emergency lighting

Do a monthly test (or flick test): Check that the LED light is on, use test point, check that the light works. It is important that you keep a record of all monthly tests, including any faults which will have to be reported to the responsible person.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be checked fully every month; all fire extinguishers should have their pressure gauges checked monthly, they should be in the correct location, checked for any damage and they should be charged.

Fire doors

First of all, Keep a register of all your fire doors with each of them having an ID. Inspect each door: Is the seal intact? Is the closer working? If the door has a Dorgard, is it working? It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to check external doors as well. Fire doors should remain closed and must not be held or wedged open as this will render them ineffective shoulda fire break out.

Carbon monoxide detectors

Test the unit by pushing the test button, record the test in the fire log book and record the date when the batteries were last changed.

Biannual checks

Dry & wet risers

BS9990:2015  requires dry risers to be tested under pressure annually with a visual inspection every six months. Replace any worn or missing parts including washers, straps, padlocks, gaskets etc.

Fire drills

Fire drills with a full or part evacuation should take place every 6 months. However, some other premises (such as schools) are required to have fire drills more often. Your evacuation procedure should take no more than 2-3 minutes. Smoke alarms should be tested, and if battery-powered, batteries should be changed every 6 months to ensure they are fully reliable.

Fire alarm system

Checks and service should maintain your system in line with BS5839-1:2017, usually every 6months or quarterly according to the size of your premises. The checks and services of devices throughout a 12-month period along with door closers &smoke vents and of course should be recorded and repaired which will be included in their service report and fire log book.

Firefighting equipment

Fire hose reels should be tested every 6 months for damage and wear. Fire blankets should also be checked biannually to ensure that they are effective.

Annual checks

A recent training course on fire compliance
Emergency lighting

Is your emergency lighting suitable, sufficient and maintained? All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly in accordance with BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8. You are required to have a 3-hour emergency lighting test once a year, during which your main light circuit should be switched off and your emergency lights left on for a 3-hourperiod. 

Firefighting equipment

Fire extinguishers should be serviced once a year. Are there enough fire extinguishers available in the required locations? Fire extinguisher maintenance is essential to ensure your extinguishers are ready for use in an emergency situation in accordance with the BS 5306-3:2017.

Sprinkler systems

These inspections shall be undertaken by an independent third party. They should service the system to BS9251:2014 including checks on sprinkler heads, multiple controls and sprayers should be carefully cleaned, tape wrappings, stop valves and flow alarms.

Fire Safety Training

We provide a range of courses, check out our online training.

How can Summit Environmental help you?

Ensure your fire safety checks are maintained

Staff training,

Fire risk assessments,

Maintenance and monitoring of essential fire safety equipment

Fire door inspection surveys

Advice and consultancy

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