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Fire Log Books – Do Commercial Premises Need Them?

July 5th, 2024

Last updated: July 5th, 2024

When you’re running a commercial business it can be hard to know exactly what is required of you in terms of fire, health and safety. Is a fire log book superfluous or is it something that every workplace needs?

What is a Fire Log Book?

A fire log book is a detailed record-keeping document that tracks all fire safety activities within a business or commercial premises. This includes fire alarm tests, equipment maintenance, fire drills, staff training, and any fire-related incidents.

Essentially, it serves as a comprehensive account of the fire safety measures in place and their ongoing management.

If there are a lot of people working in a specific location, it is probably a good idea to have a way to communicate and ensure that staff can check what tasks have been done. Fire safety is a continual effort with things like fire extinguisher maintenance being crucial to keep working on.

Why is a Fire Log Book Important?

There are several reasons why maintaining a fire log book could be a good idea for businesses.

Regulatory Compliance

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) sets out the legal requirements for fire safety in the UK. While it doesn’t explicitly mandate a fire book, it does require businesses to keep records of fire safety activities. A fire book is the simplest and most effective way to meet this requirement and may be advised in a fire risk assessment.

Safety Assurance

Regularly updated fire log books help ensure that all fire safety measures are operational. This includes the routine testing of alarms, emergency lighting, and fire extinguishers, which are critical for preventing and managing fires.

Proof of Due Diligence

In the event of a fire incident or inspection, a well-maintained log book which is signed and looked after provides evidence that your business has been diligent in its fire safety responsibilities. This can be crucial for insurance claims and legal defences.

Training and Awareness

A fire log book can also be used as a training resource, keeping staff informed about fire safety procedures and the results of drills and tests. This promotes a culture of safety and preparedness within the workplace.

Legal Requirements in the UK

The RRO requires businesses to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of fire and ensure safe evacuation if a fire occurs. This includes maintaining proper records of fire safety measures and equipment maintenance. While the law does not specifically state that you must have a fire log book, it strongly implies that detailed record-keeping is necessary to demonstrate compliance.

Without a fire log book, it would be difficult to prove that all necessary safety measures and maintenance checks are being carried out. Therefore, even though it’s not explicitly mandated, this is one of the methods people can use to meet the legal obligations under the RRO.

Do You Need a Fire Log Book for Your Business?

There’s nobody that can tell you for certain, but in commercial properties with multiple staff then it could be a good idea. Maintaining a fire log book is not only a practical way to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations but also a critical component of a robust fire safety strategy. It helps keep track of all fire safety activities plus provides some evidence that your business is meeting responsibilities.

How to Get Started with a Fire Log Book

Starting a fire log book is straightforward. You can purchase a ready-made book specifically designed for fire safety records, or you can create your own using a binder or digital format. A lot of people are going more modern with their method of running the log book and it is not a physical book at all. Content management systems and digital building management systems may provide a method to keep records.

The key is to ensure that it is well-organised and easily accessible to those responsible for fire safety.

Regularly review and update the log book, and ensure that all relevant staff are trained on how to use it. Consistency is crucial, so establish a routine for logging all fire safety activities and reviews.

If you opt for the help of a facilities services company then they may offer Planned Preventative Maintenance. Robinsons Facilities Services offer this kind of package, meaning we can keep records and help you to manage your fire responsibilities whether you use a traditional fire logbook or not.

Get a fire risk assessment or other fire protection  services with Robinsons Facilities Services. Our expert technicians have decades of experience in all fire safety and protection services. We’ll work with you to create a completely bespoke plan to follow in the event of a fire in your building. Your tailored fire risk assessment will keep your building safe and compliant, ensuring everyone knows what to do if the alarm sounds.

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