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June 17, 2011

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Navigating the blaze maze

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has published a best-practice guide to fire safety in commercial premises.
 
Launched earlier this month at a seminar in Berkshire, the guide aims to help the end-user, or persons responsible for fire safety in all types of commercial premises understand their duties under fire legislation in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 
Recognising that fire law can often be complex and confusing, the Association points to a recent survey it carried out, in which nearly a third of UK employees who responded admitted that they wouldn’t know what to do in the event of a fire.
 
To address this knowledge gap, the FIA hopes its new easy-to-digest booklet will help staff and owners of commercial properties safeguard their buildings from fire. The 27-page guide discusses the responsible person’s legal duties and includes a five-step guide to fire risk assessments. Then follows a breakdown of various protective measures, including fire detection and alarm systems, means of escape, emergency lighting and signage, and fire-fighting equipment.
 
With the same survey revealing that one in five respondents had experienced a fire in their workplace, the enforcement section of the guide should help employers understand the consequences of failing to comply with fire legislation before a fire starts.
 
The guide is available as a pdf, or as an online page-turning version in the Responsible Persons area of the FIA’s website, www.fia.uk.com To request a free print copy of the guide, e-mail [email protected]

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