19 September 2014

 

On Tuesday 23rd September, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is holding a free and informal fire safety seminar to help businesses protect themselves, and their staff and buildings from fire.

The event will take place at Hever Castle Golf Club, Edenbridge, from 9.30am to 12pm.

It will include information on implementing and maintaining a fire management plan, reducing false alarms and fire safety legislation.

Head of technical fire safety, area manager John Robertson, said: “Many businesses underestimate the impact a fire can have until it actually happens to them. Even if employees or customers are lucky enough to escape unhurt, it’s a sad fact that often the business itself never recovers and will cease trading.

“Our aim with this seminar is to make sure this doesn’t happen – preventing fire is much easier than picking up the pieces after a blaze. Our expert team will explain what owners can do to reduce fire risks and will provide free advice to suit your business needs.”

He added: “This can be a matter of common sense, but owners need to make sure that they set enough time aside to work through the necessary steps. There are still too many buildings that do not have adequate fire risk assessments and managers often don’t recognise the dangers posed by blocked fire exits, inadequately installed and maintained fire alarms or poor staff training.

“If you’re employed or self-employed and responsible for business premises, then you must comply with the law, and we can help you do this. The rules also apply to any charity, voluntary organisation or contractor with a degree of control over any premises.”

To book a place today email the business engagement team at businessfiresafety@kent.fire-uk.org.

The FIA says: “Fire safety is very important in every premises across the UK, whether it's a warehouse, office, hotel, arena or block of flats. But it can be confusing if you are the person with the responsiblity for fire safety in your workplace.”

“The FIA is here to help provide guidance and insight into the best practice in fire safety as well as the reassurance that, by using one of our members, you are employing a competent person. On our website you will find everything you need to help you in your role as the Responsible Person (also known as Duty Holder in Scotland or Appropriate Person in Northern Ireland.”

You can also download the FIA’s Best Practice Guide to Fire Safety from the FIA website.

The guide is specifically aimed at everyone who has responsibility for fire safety in their premises. No matter where in the UK you are based or what kind of premises you are responsible for this guide will help explain everything you need to be aware of, in a friendly, easy to understand way.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.