How Often Do Fire Safety Checks Need to be Carried out?
If you run your business from a commercial building then you have a responsibility to perform regular fire safety checks. Keeping your employees and any visitors to the building safe is crucial, and it is also a legal obligation.
So, how often do fire safety checks need to be carried out, and are there circumstances where you might choose to perform more safety checks than the minimum required?
Fire alarm systems should be checked every six months, or quarterly, depending on the size of the commercial building. This is in line with fire regulations BS5839. Dry & wet risers and extinguishers should be tested bi-annually, too, along with carrying out fire drills.
Other fire safety checks might be required more regularly, as explained below.
Every week there are some simple checks you can perform yourself.
- Check that the fire alarm system is working, and all fire equipment activates when it is tested.
- Visual checks that fire extinguishers aren’t damaged, sprinkler system water supplies are in place, and escape routes aren’t blocked.
- Check the pressure on your fire extinguishers is correct.
- Check that your emergency lighting system is working as expected.
- Test all fire doors and check that they are working, with no faults or obstructions.
- Test carbon monoxide detectors and flag any issues.
Professional Checks (Bi-Annual or More Frequently)
As we’ve already mentioned, a professional and competent person should perform the legally-required maintenance, at least every six months.
- A maintenance company can service and maintain your fire alarm system to the BS5839-1 standards.
- Fire dampers should be checked and maintained to ensure they are effective.
- Dry and wet risers should be maintained to BS990:2015
- All fire fighting equipment on site should be tested for damage and effectiveness.
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Fire Safety Responsibilities
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005 dictates that all fire safety equipment should be maintained by a competent person. This means that when it comes to technical maintenance such as testing fire extinguishers and alarms, you need an accredited professional to carry out the work.
Your commercial building could be visited by fire safety officers, and you can receive a fire safety notice if you have not complied with regulations. Potential recourse includes:
- An alterations notice. This is issued when there are potential fire safety risks that haven’t been addressed.
- An enforcement notice. This means there is a serious risk and action hasn’t been taken.
- Prohibition notice. Access to the building might be restricted due to risk.
- Financial or criminal penalties. It is possible that you can face charges for not keeping the building safe.
Contact Robinsons Facilities Services
Robinsons Facilities Services have vast experience in working with fire safety systems.
We have knowledge of every different design of fire safety equipment and can work with you to ensure a high quality of service, maintenance and inspections to keep your premises safe and compliant.
Get in touch with us today, call 01423 226578 or make an enquiry.