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The Risks Faced When Breaking Fire Safety Rules


This recent news story about the owner of a Chinese takeaway in Oxfordshire serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding your responsibilities in relation to fire safety if you own or run a business.

You can read more details here, but in this case the owner of the business had failed to make sure there was an adequate fire risk assessment carried out at the premises as well as there being a lack of working fire alarms.

This resulted in a suspended prison sentence due to the multiple breaches of fire safety legislation which meant that lives were put in danger. The premises were being used as a takeaway on the ground floor, but there were several bedrooms on the floors above. A fire safety audit by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service found that the owner had failed to provide enough protected escape routes and fire exits in case of fire.

In fact, the building was considered to be so dangerous that it was necessary to prohibit the use of the premises for sleeping until improvements had been made.

A competent fire risk assessment would have identified these potential risks and hazards and advised how to effectively address them. If you are running a business or are a business owner, it is vital that you understand what your responsibilities are to avoid prosecution or risk loss of life through lack of action.

Fire risk assessments are mandatory in the UK, and there are other responsibilities for business owners which include maintaining all the fire precautions and facilities that are used by fire fighters. In addition to this, the findings and results that are obtained from the risk assessment must also be kept so that they can be reviewed at a later date. Once the risk assessment is finished, it is then the responsibility of the business owner to carry out the plan in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

If you need any help, advice or additional information relating to fire risk assessments, please get in touch with us, or your local Fire & Rescue Service. Alternatively, you could take a look at the information on our website. We also offer fire safety training courses which can help you and your staff greatly reduce the risk of fire at work.

Whatever you do, don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore the issue, it could result in loss of life.