With fire safety, prevention is far more valuable than having to do some damage control. Conducting regular fire safety audits, by thoroughly examining the premises of your building is essential. Fires can have a devastating financial impact upon your property or business, destroying the livelihood of the owners, operators, and employees. It can also negatively affect a business’s infrastructure, resulting in significant losses to productivity and profit. Therefore, it is critical for property owners to implement all fire prevention methods available, and to ensure that properties and people are protected against fire loss.
If you own, operate, or manage a building, you have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of any person in that building. You also have the responsibility to ensure that your occupational Safety & Health protocols, policies, and objectives fully meet the legal requirements. As a result, Your Fire Safety Audit should be structured in accordance with those requirements, to ensure that fire safety regulations are put into action. Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to trouble, or even worse, imprisonment.
What is a Fire Audit?
Fire safety audits are an assessment of non-residential buildings or property. The Regulatory Reform requires Fire Risk Assessments on all commercial premises, and also on the communal areas of residential premises. These assessments are usually planned and include examinations of relevant documentation. During a fire safety audit, an in-depth inspection of the property and relevant documentation will take place.
The importance of fire safety audits is evident, and this includes preventing loss of life and property. A key factor in fire safety audits is reading through all relevant documentation, how you manage it and whether your staff is fully aware of the information. After all, preventing fire by following procedures is far better than paying a heavy fine, serving time in prison, or putting people in danger.
Why Do it?
Fire Safety Audits are conducted to determine potential Fire hazards involving personnel, premises, services & operation method. Normally, there is a detailed inspection and review conducted, to determine the management of the property with regards to fire safety. There is usually a number of reasons behind compliance with the legislation to commission fire safety specialists for a fire risk management audit. These audits enable organizations to address issues they might have, by identifying all significant fire hazards. They also identify the people who are at risk from each hazard, and determine the required additional control measures.
Providing evidence and confirmation for enhanced confidence and increased assurance is the primary positive role for auditing. This is achieved by looking for evidence to the contrary, for weaknesses, faults and failures. It helps the owner to ensure the availability of suitable fire detection firefighting facilities, and an emergency plan detailing the responsibilities and actions of key personnel.
It is also important to keep your staff or occupants informed and well-trained by giving them instructions about fire safety. Most fire incidents are due to lack of awareness and fire safety measures. It can also be a result of zero provisions made for firefighting systems during the design and construction of the building. It is therefore important to evaluate existing control measures to reduce risks of fire to a tolerable level.
Below is a checklist of how building owners can conduct an effective fire audit. This is to keep their equipment and occupants safe from any fire incidents.