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Step 4 Record Your Findings

An example of a floor plan highlighting the potential fire risks within the workplace - Contact Cherwell Fire Safety Limited for a Fire Risk Assessment
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If you employ five or more employees you must record the significant findings of your risk assessment, together with details of any people you identify as being at particular risk. You will probably find it useful (unless your assessment is very simple) to keep a written record of your fire risk assessment as you go round. This will help you plan the actions you need to take in the light of the findings of your risk assessment. This record might take the form of a simple list, or you could use a plan of the layout of the workplace, or a combination of both of these.

Findings

  • Significant hazards
  • People/groups of people who are at risk from the hazards
  • Existing controls and risks which are not adequately controlled

What further action is needed

  • - by when?
  • - by who?

Example of a plan prepared during a fire risk assessment

Having completed your assessment and put your fire precautions in place, it can be useful to record details of maintenance and testing work carried out on them. It is also helpful to record details of the instruction and training you give to employees and when they took place. Although these are not requirements under the Fire Regulations, you may be required to keep such records under other legislation, e.g. if you have a fire certificate issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971. Such records can assist you, particularly when reviewing your assessment. They also show the relevant enforcing authorities the actions you have taken to comply with the Fire Regulations and other fire safety legislation.

Training record list

  • the date of the training or drill
  • Duration of training
  • Fire drill evacuation times
  • Name of person giving instruction
  • Names of people receiving instructions
  • The nature of the instruction or drill
  • Any observations/remedial action
Your emergency plan

You need to plan the action that your employees and other people in the workplace should take in the event of a fire. If you employ more than five people then you must have a written emergency plan. This emergency plan should be kept in the workplace, be available to your employees and the employees' representatives (where appointed) and form the basis of the training and instruction you provide. Any written plan should be available for inspection by the fire authority.

The purpose of the emergency plan is:

  • to ensure that the people in your workplace know what to do to if there is a fire; and
  • to ensure that the workplace can be safely evacuated.

In drawing up the emergency plan, you need to take the results of your risk assessment into account. For most workplaces it should be easy to prepare a reasonable and workable emergency plan. In some small workplaces the final result may be some simple instructions covering the above points on a Fire Action Notice. However, in large or complex workplaces, the emergency plan will probably need to be more detailed. If your workplace is in a building which is shared with other employers or occupiers, the emergency plan should be drawn up in consultation with those employers and the owner(s) or other people who have any control over any part of the building. It can help to agree on one person to co-ordinate this.

Your plan should provide clear instructions on:

  • the action employees should take if they discover a fire;
  • how people will be warned if there is a fire;
  • how the evacuation of the workplace should be carried out;
  • where people should assemble after they have left the workplace and procedures for checking whether the workplace has been evacuated;
  • identification of key escape routes, how people can gain access to them and escape from them to places of safety;
  • the fire-fighting equipment provided;
  • the duties and identity of employees who have specific responsibilities in the event of a fire;
  • arrangements for the safe evacuation of people identified as being especially at risk, such as contractors, those with disabilities, members of the public and visitors;
  • where appropriate, any machines/processes/power supplies which need stopping or isolating in the event of fire;
  • specific arrangements, if necessary, for high-fire-risk areas of the workplace;
  • how the fire brigade and any other necessary emergency services will be called and who will be responsible for doing this;
  • procedures for liaising with the fire brigade on arrival and notifying them of any special risks, e.g. the location of highly flammable materials; and
  • what training employees need and the arrangements for ensuring that this training is given.

If you have a larger or more complex workplace, then it might be helpful to you to include a simple line drawing. This can also help you check your fire precautions as part of your ongoing review. The drawing could show:

  • essential structural features such as the layout of the workplace, escape routes, doorways, walls, partitions, corridors, stairways etc (including any fire-resisting structure and self-closing fire doors provided to protect the means of escape);
  • means for fighting fire (details of the number, type and location of the fire-fighting equipment;
  • the location of manually operated fire alarm call points and control equipment for the fire alarm;
  • the location of any emergency lighting equipment and any exit route signs;
  • the location of any automatic fire-fighting system and sprinkler control valve; and
  • the location of the main electrical supply switch, the main water shut-off valve and, where appropriate, the main gas or oil shut-off valves.

Information and instructions for employees

It is important that your employees know how to prevent fires and what they should do if a fire occurs. They should all be given information about the fire precautions in the work- place and what to do in the event of a fire. You also need to ensure that you include employees working in the premises outside normal hours, such as cleaners or shift workers.

Ensure that training and written information is given in a way that employees can understand and take account of those with disabilities such as hearing or sight impairment, those with learning difficulties and those who do not use English as their first language.

On their first day, all employees should be given information about:

  • the location and use of the escape routes from where they are working; and
  • the location, operation and meaning of the fire warning system where they are working.
  • Fire Action Notices complement this information and should be prominently posted in key locations throughout the workplace. However, they are not a substitute for formal training.

Fire Action Notice Sign - Available From Cherwell Fire Safety Limited

Fire Action Notice

Note: The Fire Action Notice may also incorporate a simple plan indicating the route to a safe place. Where appropriate, the notice should include a translation into other languages.



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