STEWART KIDD is a security and fire protection specialist with 40 years experience. Vice President of the Security Institute and the Institute of Fire Safety Managers, he is a Chartered Security

Professional. He was Director of the FPA, and Secretary General of British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association. Contact: STEWARTKIDD@ME.COM or call: 01353 741094.


"THIS is the second part of my June column entitled: "Managing compliance is crucial for every business."

Boxed Piece RECENTLY, a UK-based recycling company, which recycles waste for a number of local authorities, has been fi ned £150,000 and ordered to pay £230,000 in compensation to East Midlands’ fi re and rescue service. This was after a fi re which burnt for six days at the company’s site near Grantham. Passing sentence, the judge said the site had a history of not complying with guidance and enforcement notices. He added the prosecution’s case was due to the recycling company failing to heed caution - despite warnings and advice from the Environment Agency. Fire prevention guidance was also not incorporated into the written management systems, and planning permission conditions were not adhered to.

Principles of

Managing Fire SafetyAll companies The plan will detail the responsibilities for fi re safety management, the accountabilities of individual staff members, and generally detail the steps which are to be taken to prevent fi res starting – as well as procedures for responding to outbreaks of fi re.

Fire Safety Policy Statement

Each organisation should have a written fi re safety policy statement: the policy should refl ect the intentions to provide a safe and controlled working environment, which should be signed off at the highest level

Fire Safety Personnel Each organisation should appoint a senior individual as Fire Safety Manager, with

16 SHWM July, 2018

specifi c responsibility to implement an organisation’s fi re safety policy. The post may often be combined with similar functions such as security or safety.

Larger or multi-site operations may wish to appoint a specialist or consultant to fi ll this role.

Record Keeping All premises or sites should develop and maintain a Fire Safety Manual setting out a location’s fi re strategy and detailing plans for action in case of fi re, and to act as a basis for training. Individual locations should also maintain a Fire Log Book to record all fi re-related events such as training, drills, inspections by the insurance company, or fi re and rescue services and full details of equipment maintenance.

Fire Risk Assessment Since the introduction of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended), there has been an explicit duty on employers to carry out an assessment of the risks fi re might pose to their employees, or others who might use their premises.

Physical Improvements Where the fi re risk assessment has identifi ed structural features of a building that could create problems of fi re, smoke spread action should be taken to eliminate those defects. A plan for implementation of physical fi re safety improvements - including establishing or upgrading fi re compartments, segregation of areas of high fi re risk, and providing protected escape routes, should be drawn up and priorities identifi ed.

Fire Detection & Alarm Systems The installation of a modern, reliable fi re detection and alarm system should be seen as a high priority, even where not specifi cally required by law. These systems should provide a signifi cant life, property, and asset protection advantage, and are always recommended by insurers.

Manual Equipment Most buildings are supplied with fi refi ghting equipment to be used by occupants. The equipment ranges from portable fi re extinguishers to fi re blankets and hose reels. Staff need to be instructed when and how to use this equipment, and also – in some cases – when not to use it.

Automatic Suppression As part of the review of hazards and compensating features, which is part of any risk assessment process, consideration should be given to the advantages off ered by automatic fi re suppression systems. This is particularly true regarding the protection of areas, where eff ective compartmentation or segregation cannot be carried out.

Legal Compliance All places of work must comply fully with the requirements (in England and Wales) of the Fire Safety Order 2005. In Scotland, compliance to Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 is required. However, compliance with the legal minimum is a basic fi re safety benchmark for owners/managers, who must understand only complying with the law. As a bare minimum, the provisions for safety of life within the building should be legally met. The premises, plant and equipment may not be adequately protected. "IN Part 3 we will look at daily and weekly routines and the use of checklists in preventing fi res."

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