East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service urge businesses to make fire safety a priority
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service will be offering small and medium sized businesses a range of advice during the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) Business Safety Week, which runs from 11th – 17th September. The week aims to help businesses understand their fire safety responsibilities so they remain safe, legal, and compliant.
Many fires in the workplace are preventable and some businesses never recover after a fire. Helping businesses to manage their fire risks and hazards, and potentially to save lives and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss is of key importance. Simple measures to reduce risks of a fire starting and ensuring staff know how to respond in the right way can help to keep people safe and makes business sense.
At this time of year many businesses will be preparing for the Christmas period and may also be impacted by the cost of living crisis. It’s important that businesses consider the risk of fire in any changes they make and ensure all staff are aware of fire safety in the workplace.
From 1st October new fire safety legislation comes into effect. This will mean that many businesses and building owners need to check if and how this affects them to ensure they are complying with the legislation. The main changes are:
- All premises covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005will now need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of premises.
- 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.
The campaign week will highlight these changes and highlight the advice that East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service can provide to ensure they remain compliant with the law.
There is plenty of advice and support for businesses, and other ‘Responsible Persons’, from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service so we encourage anyone that has questions or may not be sure about fire safety to contact us so we can help.
Amendments to the fire safety regulation in relation to High Rise Residential Buildings
Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower on the 14 June 2017, there have now been significant amendments to the fire safety regulations in relation to High Rise Residential Buildings. Fire and Rescue Services will be working with the new Building Safety Regulator and the communities in East Sussex and the City of Brighton and Hove can be assured that we take our role as an enforcing authority very seriously and will maintain a proactive stance in regard to our statutory responsibilities. We would advise those responsible for safety in high rise residential blocks to do the same.
Those responsible for safety in high rise residential blocks should ensure that they are registered with the Building Safety Regulator. Advice on this can be found at the following link: Register a high-rise residential building - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Defects for buildings can be reported in line with legislation via our website. This should include issues relating to external walls, lifts that would be used by firefighters or rising firefighting mains. Details of property defects may be reported on the following link: Provision of Risk Information | East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (esfrs.org)
Join our events
To coincide with Business Safety Week, we will be hosting a series of Q&A events to ensure those responsible for fire safety are well-informed and prepared for the upcoming changes brought about by changes enacted by Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022.
The free sessions will take place at:
- Hove Fire Station - Tuesday 12 September at 10am
- Hastings, Bohemia Road Fire Station - Tuesday 12 September at 2pm
- Lewes Fire Station - Wednesday 13 September at 2pm
- Newhaven Fire Station - Thursday 14 September at 10am
- Hastings, The Ridge Fire Station - Thursday 14 September at 10am
- Eastbourne Fire Station - Friday 15 September at 2pm
To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/qas-responsible-persons-fire-safety-compliance-2495579
We have also created posters with a QR code, for responsible persons to refer to, so they know where to go for the new guidance. This will signpost you to Fire safety responsibilities under Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022 | East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (esfrs.org).
If you are unable to make the sessions and would like a poster for your business please contact us at email@example.com
Group Manager Protection George O’Reilly said: “We recognise the importance of ensuring that those who are responsible for fire safety in our area are well-prepared for the changes brought about by the Building Safety Act 2022. By hosting these Q&A events, we aim to provide a platform for businesses and those responsible for fire safety to address their concerns, clarify doubts, and ultimately contribute to safety and compliance across the County.”
Gavin Tomlinson NFCC’s Protection and Business Safety Committee Chair said “Fire and rescue services are committed to helping all types of businesses reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and be compliant with fire safety law. We don’t expect businesses to be experts that’s’ why we are here to provide help and advice. We encourage any business to work with their fire service to help prevent fires to help them remain productive, safe and legal.”
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