USC’s specialist Fire Safety Division aims to assist organisations meet their obligations in relation to fire safety legislation thereby raising fire safety awareness among managers, staff and indirectly the general public as a whole.
USC can provide:
- Competent Advice, Policies and Guidance
- Incident investigation
- Fire Risk Assessments
- Fire Safety Audits and Inspections
Competent Advice, Policies and Guidance
With the ever increasing legislation relating to Fire Safety, the responsibilities imposed on the owners, employers and others who have control of premises has also increased. USC has available a core of highly competent specialist Fire Safety Consultants who are able to provide a full range of services to offices, factories, residential properties, licenced premises, hotels, hospitals, universities, schools and shops.
The services include:
- Provision of advice on all aspects of Fire Risk Management.
- Provision of Fire Safety Policy Documents, Local Fire Policies and Codes of Practice in accordance with legislation.
- Fire Risk Assessments, Inspections and Audits of areas.
- Technical Surveys.
- Assessments of training needs for all levels.
- Incident investigation and reporting.
- Provision of advice on the design of work areas.
In order to have an effective Fire Safety Management System it is essential to have a clear, credible and easily understood Fire Safety Policy. This policy may be written for smaller organisations at the corporate level only or for larger organisations may be written at the corporate level and supplemented at a local level . Whatever the case it is essential that all risks are considered fully and that the policy reflects adequately the needs of the organisation.
USC has been producing Policies, Codes of Practice and Local Rules in consultation with employers for the last 25 years. Our consultants strive to ensure that such policies are authoritative, unambiguous and easily understood so that there can be no doubt on what the organisation’s arrangements are in the event of a fire.
Whenever a Fire Alarm is activated an investigation should be carried out to try and identify the cause. Often an alarm will be the result of a malfunction or careless behavior by a member of staff where neither the occupants nor the building are put in immediate danger. Such an investigation is usually fairly simple and can be carried out by a responsible person and action taken to minimise the likelihood of a recurrence.
However in other cases an alarm will be the result of an incident where both staff and buildings have been put at risk. Investigation in such cases will often require a more professional view to be sought.
Our fire consultants are all professionals and skilled in dealing with such incidents. We aim to establish the facts and underlying causes and provide where necessary advice information and training to help reduce the chance of a repetition.
Fire Safety Risk Assessment
In 1997 it was reported by the Loss Prevention Council that 46% of fires in industrial and commercial buildings were attributed to arson and that where a fire occurred in as small business 87% of such businesses went into liquidation within 12 months of reopening. It is therefore vitally important that a Fire Safety Risk Assessment is carried out. This an assessment looks at the risk to an organisation of a fire occurring, the means of escape for staff and the minimisation of damage.
As from October 2006 the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into effect. Under the order the Responsible Person must carry out a Fire Safety Risk Assessment and based on that assessment take appropriate action to minimise risk. Where 5 or more persons are employed the risk assissment must be in writing.
Responsible Person may be defined as the person responsible for a business premises; an employer or self employed person with a business premises; a dwelling used in part solely as a business premises; a charity or voluntary organisation and others who have a degree of control over any premises eg a contractor.
USC has been providing Fire Safety Risk Assessments since 1999 when the Regulations at that time made Fire Safety Risk Assessments mandatory. The new 2005 Regulations have made the requirements stricter and enforcement action by the competent authorities is likely where Fire Safety Risk Assessments have not been produced.
Fire Safety Audits and Inspections
We will systematically and critically examine your workplace and your activities to determine the risk of fire to your staff, visitors and buildings.
A report identifying significant fire hazards and risks will be produced with a prioritised action plan for removing or reducing these risks as much as is possible. The plan will also identify how to comply with any statutory breaches and best practices.
The Audits / inspections will complement your organisations Fire Safety Risk Assessment.