What can we learn from incidents?
Following the anniversary of the Grenfell Fire Disaster in June, Dame Judith Hackett has taken the opportunity to detail her findings and provide recommendations to improve the current safety framework.
In her recent Barbour webinar, Hackett’s focus was to improve the current construction schemes and safety regulations regarding construction, highlighting that safety should remain a concern for the duration of a building’s life. Specifically, safety considerations should continue for the occupation phase of properties; post-build. Hackett used Grenfell and other high risk buildings as examples, namely structures over 10 stories tall, and while it is important to be extra vigilant with high risk construction, we encourage you to remember that the basics of fire safety generally apply to any building construct.
Let’s review what can be done in general to help mitigate fire risks at any building.
How well do you currently check that fire safety is managed within your workplace?
Are checks of equipment managed by an outside organisation, or internally?
Having an outside organisation complete checks can be a good method to use to ensure that any checks are completed on time and completed by a competent person. If doing internal checks, do you have a notification system that alerts you when the regular checks are due for renewal?
Who conducts the Fire Risk Assessment for your building? As you may know, following the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (fire safety) order 2005, there were a few fundamental changes; firstly to the body responsible for fire safety (from the fire service to Health and Safety Inspectors), and the associated risk assessment.
It is the responsibility of the assigned ‘responsible person’ within the organization to ensure: overall fire safety; completion of fire risk assessments, adequate resources and equipment are in place to mitigate and control fire risks, and maintenance of any in-place fire prevention systems.
With the weather conditions and risks of land fires increasing, we need to ensure we all do our part to ensure the health and safety of ourselves, those who may come into contact with our buildings, and those who are fighting any fires.
To help you better manage your fire safety, we have created a free Fire Safety Self Audit just for you! Just fill out the contact form to get your free download.
This audit contains the questions you should be asking yourself when testing your workplace for proper fire mitigation methods. Once you’re finished, tally up your answers. A passing audit is one in which you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all the questions. If you have a few ‘no’ answers, go back to your fire safety plan and revise accordingly.
At home, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your safety. If you have smoke detectors, press the test button on each device to ensure it still operates. You can also organise a Safe and Well visit from your local fire brigade for them to check your current fire safety arrangements. These visits are completely free and you may also be eligible for free smoke alarms to be fitted where required; you will not be sold anything. Note, that these visits are only for homeowners and not for commercial or industrial premises.