02 Jul 2014
Nine in 10 small businesses are not making sure they assess their premises for fire risks or take basic fire safety precautions, according to the results of a new poll.
The survey by fire-risk assessment provider FireUK has also discovered that many businesses that welcome the public onto their premises have not got a responsible member of staff making sure they are fire-safe.
FireUK contacted 580 businesses employing fewer than 10 workers, such as firms working from offices, pubs, restaurants and takeaways, and found that 90% did not know they were legally obliged to assess their premises for fire risks. This includes 39% of landlords of pubs and 86% of office-based employers.
Some of them who rent their premises think it is their landlord who has to carry out fire-risk assessments, while others don’t consider it a high enough priority because of budget pressures. Some even thought it was up to their staff to get out if there is a fire.
In truth the responsibility for fire safety lies with all landlords, business proprietors and employers. They must make sure they have a responsible person to assess the risks, carry out reviews and set fire safety procedures. Fines and prison sentences are among the possible punishments for businesses that don’t.
Copyright Press Association 2014