Last reviewed 26 November 2020

The London Fire Brigade has urged businesses, whether open or closed, to consider fire safety.

The Brigade says prevention is the best form of firefighting in the context of fire safety at work.

Those who own, manage or operate a business must comply with fire safety law.

The main law is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which applies across England and Wales. Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own legislation.

The Order applies to almost all buildings, places and structures other than individual private homes but other places covered include shared areas in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), blocks of flats and maisonettes.

Duty holders need to make sure the premises reach the required standards and ensure that employees are provided with adequate fire safety training.

Fire risk assessments are legally required and involve a careful look at the business premises and the people who use them, from a fire prevention perspective.

Broadly speaking, fire risk assessments are conducted in five key steps.

  1. Identify the fire hazards.

  2. Identify people at risk.

  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.

  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.

  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

The Brigade says of fire risk assessments, “It’s about understanding the potential risks, then improving your fire safety precautions to keep people safe.

“If you are responsible for a building, for example an employer, owner or occupier of premises that aren't a 'single private dwelling' (a private home), you need to make sure a suitably competent person completes a fire risk assessment. It is your duty to identify fire risks and hazards in your premises and take appropriate action.”

Further information can be accessed via the Brigade's website.