Business Safety Week 2023
From the 10th to the 18th September is Business Safety Week.
In association with the National Fire Chiefs Council, Kent Fire and Rescue Service are here to help offer help and support to small and medium sized businesses in understanding their fire safety responsibilities.
Take a look at the information below to help you stay fire safe in your business.
Businesses and the cost of living
With rising prices, businessses may look to save money and reduce costs by a variety of methods, such as reduced staff levels, changing the way they heat and light their premises, leaving buildings unoccupied, and more.
If you are considering making changes, take a look at our new Businesses and the Cost of Living page. There you will find helpful information on how to protect your business, make sure your Fire Risk Assessment reflects any changes you may make, and things you can do while ensuring your business stays safe and compliant.
The new Building Safety Act
Make sure you're ready ...
From 1st October 2023 new fire safety legislation comes into effect. This means that many businesses and building owners will need to check if and how this affects them to ensure they are complying with the regulations. The main changes are:
- all businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of business.
- there are increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi occupied buildings or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.
- in residential buildings with two or more domestic premises residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe.
To help you understand what you need to know and do, head over to our new Building Safety Act page, where you will find lots of helpful information on what buildings the new requirements apply to, what responsible persons need to know and buildings with two or more domestic premises.
The best defence against arson is adequate security for your business. Most attacks are opportunist. Lock-up procedures, working security lights and alarms and good housekeeping can reduce risk. Anti-social behaviour, vandalism and small fires around your business are behaviours which can be linked to arson. Look for the signs and report anything suspicious on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. For further information, take a look at the NFCC helpful guide on reducing the risk of arson.
Did you know electrical items are one of the most common causes of fires in the workplace? Ensure they are tested and maintained. Damaged and faulty equipment should not be used, so make sure your staff know what to look out for. Simple precautions such as not overloading sockets, looking out for damaged electrical items and switching them off when not being used can help reduce the risk of fire in your business.
If the fire alarm at your workplace keeps going off, get in touch with Kent Fire and Rescue Service for advice. It could be something as simple as the wrong detector in the wrong place!
Take a look at the National Fire Chief Council's helpful video on how to reduce false alarms in your workplace and what you can do.
Fire Risk Assessments
Your Fire Risk Assessment
If you have a business, you have a legal duty to make sure that it is safe for yourself and your staff, your customers, visitors, and anyone else who may use or attend your premises. This legal duty applies to both the employed and self-employed. Part of this legal duty is to carry out a fire risk assessment and review it regularly.
Why not take a look at our Fire Risk Assessment page where you'll find help, advice and guidance on what to do and the type of assessment required for your type of premises, or watch a useful video prepared by the National Fire chiefs Council.
Artificial foliage and your business
It's important to consider surface finishes in your premises when undertaking your fire risk assessment. If your premises have artificial leaves, flowers, green wall displays, or plants as decoration, you will need to include and consider these too when carrying out your assessment.
Often used to decorate walls and ceilings, particularly in licensed premises, such displays have been involved in a number of fires in the UK. These fires have started in various ways including flambeing food, sparklers and indoor fireworks and candles. Fires involving them can develop and spread rapidly.
To learn what you need to be aware of and what responsible persons should do, take a look at our dedicated page.
Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool
Developed by the NFCC in association with others, the Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool is a fun, interactive game. It provides gives small business owners and managers with a general overview of their responsibilities following a fire risk assessment and tests general fire safety knowledge in the workplace.
Please be aware however, the Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool is for general fire safety awareness in the workplace, it is not intended as a training tool for completing a fire risk assessment