Fire Detection & Warning
Section 19 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 every employer shall identify hazards, assess risks and have a written risk assessment, including any unusual or other risks. To comply with Section 19, employers are required to carry out risk assessments and to record these in the Safety Statement. A fire safety risk assessment should be conducted.
A fire safety risk assessment includes…
- Emergency procedures must also be in place and practiced to ensure safe evacuation in the event of a fire. Section 11 of the 2005 Act states that employers are required to prepare and revise adequate emergency plans and procedures and provide the necessary measures for fire fighting and the evacuation of the workplace.
- Sections 8, 9 and 10 of this 2005 Act require sufficient information, training and supervision is provided to ensure the safety of employees, and also that such instruction, training etc. must take account of any employees with specific needs, to ensure their protection against dangers that may affect them.
- Consideration for all employees and anyone connected with the workplace must form part of how an employer addresses the area of safety health and welfare and specifically the provision of emergency access and egress.
- The Workplace Chapter of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations 2007, the General Application Regulations has detailed fire safety requirements, e.g. Regulation 11 Doors and `gates, Regulation 12 Emergency routes and exits, Regulation 13 Fire detection and fire fighting and Regulation 25 Employees with disabilities.
- The Safety Signs Chapter of the General Application Regulations has requirements for fire-fighting equipment, emergency escape signs and fire-fighting signs.
- A fire in the workplace should be detected quickly and a warning given so that people can escape safely. Early discovery and warning will increase the time available for escape and enable people to evacuate safely before the fire takes hold and blocks escape routes or makes escape difficult. This is where a good, well practiced escape plan is necessary, we will co-ordinate this.
- The nature and extent of the fire detection and warning arrangements in the workplace will need to satisfy the requirements indicated by the employers risk assessment.
- In small workplaces where a fire is unlikely to cut off the means of escape, e.g. open-air areas and single storey buildings where all exits are visible and the distances to be traveled are small, it is likely that any fire will be quickly detected by the people present.
- In larger premises, particularly multi storey premises, an electrical fire alarm system with manually operated call points is likely to be the minimum necessary. In unoccupied areas, where a fire could start and develop to the extent that escape routes may become affected, it is likely that a form of automatic fire detection will also be needed.