Free Workplace Fire Safety Checklist

fire safety checklist

Fire safety is an ongoing responsibility for all employers, no matter the size or type of their business. A fire safety checklist can be extremely useful, especially for low-risk premises. It helps you quickly review your fire safety measures and identify any shortcomings.

That’s why we’re offering a free fire safety checklist. This tool covers the essential fire safety duties every employer needs to meet. It can give you confidence that your premises are compliant and safe.

Fire Safety in the Workplace

Workplace fire safety is governed by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (also known as the Fire Safety Order or FSO).

The FSO applies to all non-domestic premises, including:

  • Offices
  • Shops
  • Factories
  • Pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • Community centres and places of worship
  • Nurseries, schools and daycares
  • Hospitals and care homes
  • Hotels, B&Bs and other rented accommodation
  • Communal areas of residential buildings

There will be one (or more) responsible person for each of these places. The responsible person is accountable for fire safety in their premises and must fulfil the duties set out by the FSO.

Who is Responsible for Fire Safety in the Workplace?

For workplaces, employers are the responsible person.

If you’re an employer, you must actively manage and regularly review fire safety measures in line with the FSO.

Fire Safety Courses

Our fire safety courses provide staff with the knowledge to prevent, respond to and manage fire emergencies. Topics covered include fire awareness, risk assessments, fire door training and fire extinguisher use. The courses also offer advanced training for duty holders, including fire safety inspection and fire warden training.

Key Duties of the Responsible Person

Your key duties as a responsible person are to:

  • Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment: Assess the fire risks in your workplace and determine what must be done to eliminate or manage them
  • Implement Fire Safety Measures: Implement and maintain measures to prevent or reduce fire risks
  • Communicate Risk Assessment Findings: Ensure that all staff are aware of the risks and how they’re being managed
  • Emergency Planning: Develop clear fire emergency plans and communicate them to all staff
  • Training and Information: Provide all employees with adequate fire safety information, instruction and training

You can appoint other people to help you meet your fire safety duties. Delegation is often a good idea as managing fire safety for even small premises can be demanding. Appointing other people can free up your time and ensure that all fire safety tasks are given the attention they need. This makes it easier to comply with the Fire Safety Order and guarantee your workplace meets all legal standards for fire safety.

You can appoint people from inside or outside your organisation to handle fire safety duties. But you must be sure they have the right knowledge, skills and experience to do the job safely. As the responsible person, it’s your job to check that anyone you appoint is fully competent. Remember, you’re ultimately accountable for ensuring these duties are carried out correctly.

Fire Risk Assessments vs Fire Safety Checklists

There’s a reason fire risk assessment is the first duty listed in official guidance. It’s central to effective fire safety management and needs to happen before any other duties can be met.

Conducting a fire risk assessment is a process. You have to carefully examine your workplace to identify fire hazards and assess the risk level (a consideration of how likely harm is to happen and how severe that harm will be).

What we’re offering is a free fire safety checklist. This document shares some DNA with a fire risk assessment but cannot be used in the same way.

Fire risk assessments take in-depth fire safety knowledge and experience. You need to be able to identify every potential hazard and imagine scenarios where things go wrong. From there, you can determine necessary safety measures and plan safe evacuation procedures.

Our fire safety checklist serves a different purpose. It’s a tool to check the current state of your fire safety measures quickly. This snapshot helps you ensure the safety measures you planned based on your risk assessment are actually in place.

Fire Safety Checklist

The fire safety checklist plays a vital role in ensuring your workplace is safe and compliant with fire safety regulations. It’s designed to recap the primary fire safety duties and link these responsibilities directly to quick checks you can carry out routinely.

We’ve broken up the checklist into five areas of fire safety compliance. Below, we’ve gone through each area covered by the fire safety checklist and explained why each item is on it.

1. Fire Safety Management

This section covers fire safety fundamentals. If you can’t tick off every item, your fire safety measures have serious gaps.

It starts with fire risk assessment because they’re critical. Regular reviews of your assessment are also necessary (and a legal requirement). That’s why they’re mentioned on the fire safety checklist. It’s a reminder to check that the assessment is still relevant and working for your premises.

Other items relate to other essential responsibilities, including the need to appoint fire wardens and prepare evacuation plans. Again, these checkpoints are really prompts for the fundamental duties you need to carry out and revisit regularly.

Fire Safety Management

2. Firefighting Equipment

Firefighting equipment, such as extinguishers, must be functional and easy to get to.

Regular checks are necessary to guarantee extinguishers are ready to use in an emergency. Firefighting equipment should also be clearly signposted.

3. Fire Alarm Systems

This part of the checklist reminds you to regularly test fire alarms. These tests should be weekly. It’s also important to check alarm activation points are accessible and marked. Early detection and warning gives occupants more time to evacuate the premises safely.

Fire Warning Systems

4. Emergency Procedures

This section reviews the procedures in place for evacuation. Blocked escape routes are a common issue. Staff can become complacent and forget the importance of keeping fire exits unobstructed.

Routes must be clear on both sides of the door. Evacuees need to exit as quickly and safely as possible. Emergency services need rapid access to minimise damage and help trapped or injured occupants.

5. Records and Documentation

The final section covers records and documentation. There’s a reminder to update the fire safety logbook, which is essentially a formal record of all your previous checks. Registering your actions and safety measures helps you stay on top of your fire safety duties. It can also prove compliance with the FSO.

The last checkpoint relates to staff training records. It’s easy to overlook fire safety training when onboarding a new staff member, but it needs to be a part of every induction.

Download Your Free Fire Safety Checklist

Download your free fire safety checklist today to help protect your workplace and employees from fire risks.

Online Fire Awareness Training

Managing fire safety in the workplace is not a one-time task. Our free workplace fire safety checklist is a starting point to help you meet your duties under the Fire Safety Order. But it’s important to remember that this checklist is a tool to support, not replace, a detailed fire risk assessment and ongoing effort from you and your staff.

You can give staff the necessary knowledge and understanding with our online Fire Awareness Training course. It covers essential fire safety tips in the workplace and ensures that all employees understand the fundamentals of fire prevention and response.

And since the course is entirely online, it’s easy to purchase and share with all your staff. It’s a quick tick on your fire safety checklist and a vital step towards full compliance with the Fire Safety Order.

About the author(s)

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Jonathan Goby
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