Brand Director at Barbour EHS

March 26, 2021

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Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

Fire safety

Better fire safety compliance needed before commercial buildings reopen

A survey has revealed that at least 60% of people responsible for the fire safety of their property believe they could be doing more to ensure that the building is fire safe. 

JLA’s 2021 Fire Safety Accountability Report has shown that 10% of respondents do not know how to perform a fire risk assessment, despite being responsible for the job. The same percentage of respondents also admit to having no knowledge of the new Fire Safety Bill, while the remaining admit to having only a little knowledge of it.

The bill amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, representing the biggest change in building safety “for a generation” and it aims to provide clarity over all the fire safety risks that respective building owners and managers are responsible for assessing, such as cladding, internal/external walls and fire doors.

The survey – which canvassed more than 500 respondents who are responsible for ensuring that their building/workplace is a fire-safe environment – also reveals that 13.5% of respondents think they should be ‘doing more’ in terms of ensuring their respective property is fire-secure.

The main reasons given by respondents not “doing more” to ensure their respective building is fire safe are a lack of budget (18%), added stress (18%) and lack of time (15%).

Almost half (49%) of respondents also admitted that they do not train all staff on fire safety, while 12% do not offer any form of fire safety training to employees at all. Surprisingly, almost a fifth of respondents also admit to turning to social media for fire safety guidance.

Rob Harris, Managing Director of JLA Fire, said: “While it’s enlightening to see that some demographics have a satisfactory awareness of reducing fire risk, it is concerning that a large proportion of those surveyed are unaware of fire safety procedures, and believe they could be doing more to protect those around them.

“Budget constraints or added stress – or indeed the coronavirus crisis – are not adequate reasons to avoid rectifying this awareness, as the potential damage a fire could cause would have far more costly implications on a business’s reputation and finances.

“By identifying the gaps in people’s knowledge and fire safety procedures, we know the areas that need significant improvement and we urge employers and fire safety employees to conduct widespread training, equipment checks and procedural updates as a priority.”

This news story is in partnership with Barbour EHS, a specialist information service provider supporting professionals across sectors including fire and security, FM, health and safety, sustainability and energy.

Download: Fire Strategy – A Director’s Briefing

Access new fire safety expertise by downloading the free Barbour Director's Briefing, and learn how to create a 'carefully devised plan of action' to make your fire strategy more comprehensive than ever. In this free Director’s Briefing, Barbour EHS provides key information relating to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales, including what is required from the responsible person of a property.

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