If you are running a business in Brighton, it is a requirement for you to cover your employees and people using your premises from various risks. It is well known that we live in an uncertain world and accidents can never be avoided entirely, but some measures can be taken to minimise the risk. One notable risk that has been continually enforced by the authorities is that of fire and businesses need to undergo a Brighton fire risk assessment before they can be allowed to operate. For new business owners, this might sound like a new thing, and we have compiled a guide on the specifics of the assessment and all you need to know about it.
What is A Fire Risk Assessment?
This is a procedure that involves the step by step assessment of the elements that determine the risk of fire. It tries to investigate the probability of fire breaking out in that place and the results if it happens. The assessment is a technical process that brings both quantitative and qualitative aspects into the equation in a bid to arrive at conclusive results. It also looks at the control measures put in place to help mitigate these risks and whether they are capable of preventing and managing any fire breakouts.
It is specified by the law that almost all buildings in England need to undergo a fire risk assessment expect for some few exceptions. Domestic buildings are not really required to undergo the assessment in various parts, but business premises are required. You can conduct the evaluation on your own but only do this if you have the skills and experience required to do it. However, it is always advisable to hire a competent and experienced fire risk assessor and auditor in Brighton to conduct this activity.
Checking for fire risks is something that is done thoroughly, and the person doing it should have been trained to do so. Failure to do it can result in conducting insufficient assessments that will jeopardise the safety of your workers and customers or further still put you in trouble with the authorities. It is best to check whether the fire risk assessor you have selected is registered and approved by the authorities as it is an indication that they must have showcased the competence to the Institution of Fire Engineers. The assessment has no expiry date, but if you install some new structures or alter the arrangement of your place, it might be prudent to contact a professional to check the area with the new formations.
What Is Covered in a Brighton Fire Risk Assessment?
Usually, a building has some precautions put in place to help reduce the effect of fire and an assessment check whether they are sufficient. If they are not enough, the results will prompt the people in charge to step up in their fire preparations and put up additional measures. However, another thing that comes into the picture is the way that people respond to emergency situations and how fire safety management is conducted.
Keep in mind that some things limit the extent to which this inspection can be conducted and do not expect your Brighton assessor to dwell into the detailed engineering structures of the protection systems and other things. Most of it will be done visually unless the situation really calls for it, and that is when a detailed review will be done. It primarily covers a couple of things that are all aimed at helping the assessor determine the risk and here are some of them.
The initial part is the map of the building that indicates the interior parts and all the openings such as the windows and doors. The map should contain the specifics about the construction such as the materials used. It is also vital to include the size of the building and any other detail such as the number of storeys or so.
The assessment should be done with a rough idea of the number of people who use the place both during the day and at night. This should include the people working there and the average inflow of customers during the day and at night. The occupancy should also be categorised in that the number of people using the various parts of the building should be known. If any special and vulnerable people might be affected or disadvantaged by a fire breakout, it should be indicated.
Aside from the demographics, it is necessary to look into the fire safety equipment in place. The number and location of this equipment should be known as well as their maintenance. Any escape routes to the safety areas should be highlighted and the means of accessing them as well. Any fire safety signs in the building need to be pointed out as well as indicators to the auxiliary fire safety equipment such as sprinklers.
Lastly, the assessment should look into the degree of possible fire hazards in case of a breakout. The manner in which hazardous material has been stored and fire detection systems need to be checked. The types of alarms and their location should be reviewed and the assessor should make sure that they work perfectly.
Some of the crucial things that a fire risk assessment covers have been mentioned and it is evident that it is a comprehensive activity that can give you a better insight on how your business is prepared for a fire. It has been seen that it looks into various variables which are always subject to change over time and this is why assessments need to be done from time to time. You can get an assessor who concludes that your place is safe but end up installing a new unit in your business that significantly affects the occupancy and thus calls for another assessment. All in all, the efficiency of the analysis depends on the fire safety consultant you select and always analyse your options wisely before picking on one. This is a vital aspect of your Brighton business, and it should be dealt with diligently.