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Fire Safety Records

Keeping up-to-date records of your Fire Risk Assessment can help you effectively manage the fire strategy for your premises and demonstrate how you are complying with fire safety law.

Even if you do not have to record the fire risk assessment, it can be helpful to keep a record of any co-operation and exchange of information made between employers and other responsible people for future reference.

In larger and more complex premises, it is best to keep a dedicated record of all maintenance of fire-protection equipment and training. There is no one "correct" format specified for this. Suitable record books are available by contacting us.

In all cases the quality of records may also be regarded as a good indicator of the overall quality of the safety management structure.

Your records should be kept in a specified place on the premises (for example, in the management's office), and should include;

  • Details of any significant findings from the fire risk assessment and any action taken.
  • Testing and checking of escape routes, including final exit locking mechanisms, such as panic devices and any electromagnetic devices.
  • Testing of fire-warning systems, including weekly alarm tests and periodic maintenance by a competent person.
  • Recording of false alarms.
  • Testing and maintenance of emergency lighting systems.
  • Testing and maintenance of fire extinguishers, hose reels and fire blankets etc.
  • If appropriate, testing and maintenance of other fire safety equipment such as fire-suppression systems and smoke control systems.
  • Recording and training of relevant people on fire fighting appliances and fire evacuation drills.
  • Planning, organising, policy and implementation, monitoring, audit and review.
  • Maintenance and audit of any systems that are provided to help the fire and rescue service.
  • The arrangements in a large multi-occupied building for a co-ordinated emergency plan or overall control of the actions you or your staff should take if there is a fire.
  • All alterations, tests, repairs and maintenance of fire safety systems, including passive fire systems such as fire doors.

You should ensure that no other management decisions or policies compromise safety. Your documentation should be available for inspection by representatives of the enforcing authority.

In premises with 'engineered fire safety strategies', a fire policy manual should be provided in addition to any other records. Enforcing authorities would expect a fire engineering policy manual to conform to the structure set out in BS 7974-0 section 5: Reporting and presentation.

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Fire Safety Audit

A fire safety audit can be used alongside your fire risk assessment to identify what fire safety provisions exist in your premises. When carrying out a review of your fire safety risk assessment, a pre-planned audit can quickly identify if there has been any significant changes which may affect the fire safety systems and highlight whether a full fire risk assessment is necessary.

Plans And Specifications

Plans and specifications can be required to assist understanding of a fire risk assessment or emergency plan. Even where not needed for this purpose they can help you and your staff keep your fire risk assessment and emergency plan under review and help the fire and rescue service in the event of a fire.

Any symbols used should be shown on a key. Plans and specifications could include the following;

  • Essential structural features such as the layout of function rooms, escape doors, wall partitions, corridors, stairways etc. (including any fire-resisting structure and self closing fire doors provided to protect the escape routes).
  • Location of refuges and lifts that have been designated suitable for use by disabled people and others who may need assistance to escape in case of fire.
  • Methods for fighting fire (details of the number, type and location of the firefighting equipment).
  • Location of manually-operated fire alarm call points and control equipment for fire alarms.
  • Location of any control rooms and any fire staff posts.
  • Location of any emergency lighting equipment and the exit route signs.
  • Location of any high-risk areas, equipment or process that must be immediately shut down by staff on hearing the fire alarm.
  • Location of any automatic firefighting systems, risers and sprinkler control valves.
  • Location of the main electrical supply switch, the main water shut-off valve and, where appropriate, the main gas or oil shut-off valves.
  • Plans and specifications relating to all recent constructions.

This information should be passed on to any later users or owners of the premises.

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