Kent Fire & Rescue Service

Starting a new business

Have you included fire safety in financial plans for your business?

You may think that the cost of these measures is off-putting, but compared to the cost of shutting your business down, even temporarily, it makes sense to be prepared.

Why should you include fire safety in your financial planning?

Once you are aware of your responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 it will help you when looking for premises.

  • Check the lease or tenancy agreement - what are you responsible for?

  • Is everything suitable for the type of business you are starting or will you have to change or add anything? How will this impact on budgeting?

  • Make sure you understand the maintenance regimes - how often and by who?

You can do your research into the initial and ongoing costs and include it in your budget.

Your insurance provider will need to know that you have fulfilled your legal requirements. If you have not then your policy may be rendered invalid if you make a claim. 

Do you know what legislation requires you to do?

If you're becoming a business owner or have control over a business then you are probably regarded as a responsible person.

Under the Fire Safety Order the responsible person: "Has a duty to provide and maintain suitable and sufficient fire precautions and comply with the Fire Safety Order".    


What could happen if you do not comply?

You are commiting an offence and you could be putting people's lives at risk. We may inspect your premises as part of our responsibility to enforce the law. A customer or someone working for you may report you to us if they feel at risk. This could result in:

  • Enforcement

  • Legal fees/fines

  • Imprisonment

  • Loss of business

  • Loss of life

What is a fire risk assessment? 

It is a thorough look at your premises and the people who are likely to use them. It considers the risk of fire breaking out and what measures you need to put in place to prevent it and keep people safe.

In the UK during 2013-2014 there were:

  • over 22,000 fires in non-domestic buildings

  • 17 people killed and over 1,000 people injured


Complete your fire risk assessment 

  • STEP 1: Identify fire hazards
  • STEP 2: Identify people at risk
  • STEP 3: Evaluate, remove or reduce and protect from risk
  • STEP 4: Record, plan, inform, instruct and train
  • STEP 5: Review your fire risk assessment regularly

Download this information as a PDF leaflet

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