What Happens When You Don’t Follow Fire Safety Regulations
There are a lot of things you need to think about and do when you’re running a business. Not all of it will directly affect your day-to-day operations, so it can be tempting to put off those tasks and responsibilities for another day. And some of those things are going to be costing money, so they’ll also be cutting into profits.
So it comes as no surprise that some business owners will either not get round to doing things they know they should do quickly enough, or will be tempted to avoid them altogether to save money.
You would think that fire safety would be near the top of the list of things to do outside of your immediate business interests – after all, get it wrong and you’re not only putting your financial future at stake, you could also be putting the lives of your staff, customers and visitors at risk.
Understandably, this is a matter that the government takes very seriously, and there are strict rules and comprehensive legislation that any business owner with commercial premises needs to be aware of and follow.
Why you’ll get caught if you don’t comply with fire regulations
Part of your responsibility as the manager or owner of commercial premises is to carry out regular risk assessments to identify potential fire hazards and dangers to individuals, and then make plans for worst case scenarios. Unless your business is really small – which means less than five employees, or less than five people regularly on site – you need to keep a written record of all findings and recommendations resulting from that assessment.
Your local fire and rescue authority – who will be aware of your presence, unless you’re operating your business totally off the grid, in which case you’ll have a whole new set of problems to worry about when you get caught – can visit your premises at any time to check that you’re following the rules. They’ll usually make an appointment first, but they can also drop by unannounced.
When they visit, they’ll want to see your most recent fire risk assessment, check that your premises meet the required safety standards and ensure that your employees have had the necessary fire safety training.
If they are dissatisfied with what they find, they may decide to issue you with a formal notice.
Fire safety notices
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, there are three types of formal notice you can be issued as a result of one of the visits outlined above.
- Alteration – this will be issued if it is judged that your premises either currently represent a serious fire risk or will do if changes are made to the premises or their use.
- Enforcement – this will be issued in the event of a serious risk that is not being managed. It will outline what needs to be done and when those changes need to be made by – this will always be within 28 days of the order being made.
- Prohibition – this will be issued when there is such a serious risk that the premises need to be prohibited or restricted.
Penalties for non-compliance with fire regulations
Minor infringements of fire safety regulations may result in a £5000 fine. Anything more could result in unlimited fines and a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
Early in 2022, healthcare provider BUPA was fined £937,500 for fire safety failings together with another £104,000 in prosecution costs, making it the biggest ever fine under the Fire Safety Order.
Don’t put your business or the lives of others at risk by ignoring fire safety legislation. At Scutum London, our fully qualified, professional team performs comprehensive fire risk assessments to make sure your business is in line with the necessary legislation.
We can also supply, install and maintain any required fire detection and fire control solutions, such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire doors.
Get in touch with us now for more information or to book a site visit from one of our engineers.
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About Scutum London
Scutum London is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.
From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.
With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
If you’d like to find out more about Scutum London, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.