Fire Safety Regulations Guide


Inform, Instruct, Co-operate and Co-ordinate

You must give clear and relevant information and appropriate instructions to your staff and the employers of other people working in your premises, such as contractors, about how to prevent fires and what they should do if there is a fire.

Any other relevant persons should be given information about the fire safety arrangements as soon as possible.

If you intend to employ a child, you must inform the parents of the significant risks you have identified and the precautions you have taken. You must also co-operate and co-ordinate with other responsible people who use any part of the premises. It is unlikely that your emergency plan will work without this.

Information and Instruction

All staff should be given information and instruction as soon as possible after they are appointed and regularly after that. Make sure you include staff who work outside normal working hours, such as contract cleaners or maintenance staff.

The information and instructions you give must be in a form that can be used and understood. They should take account of those with disabilities such as hearing or sight impairment, those with learning difficulties and those who do not use English as their first language.

The information and instruction you give should be based on your emergency plan and must include:

  • the significant findings from your fire risk assessment;
  • the measures that you have put in place to reduce the risk;
  • what staff should do if there is a fire;
  • the identity of people you have nominated with responsibilities for fire safety; and
  • any special arrangements for serious and imminent danger to persons from fire.

In small premises, where no significant risks have been identified and there are limited numbers of staff, information and instruction may simply involve an explanation of the fire procedures and how they are to be applied. This should include showing staff the fire-protection arrangements, including the designated escape routes, the location and operation of the fire-warning system and any other fire-safety equipment provided, such as fire extinguishers. Fire action notices can complement this information and, where used, should be posted in prominent locations.

In larger premises, particularly those in multi-occupied buildings, you should ensure that written instructions are given to people who have been nominated to carry out a designated safety task, such as calling the fire and rescue service or checking that exit doors are available for use at the start of each working day.

Co-operation and Co-ordination

In premises that are not multi-occupied you are likely to be solely responsible. However, in buildings owned by someone else, or where there is more than one occupier, and others are responsible for different parts of the building, it is important that you liaise with them and inform them of any significant risks that you have identified. By liaising you can co-ordinate your resources to ensure that your actions and working practices do not place others at risk if there is a fire, and a co-ordinated emergency plan operates effectively.

Where two or more responsible persons share premises in which an explosive atmosphere may occur, the responsible person with overall responsibility for the premises must co-ordinate any measures necessary to protect everyone from any risk that may arise. Employees also have a responsibility to co-operate with their employer so far as it is necessary to help the employer comply with any legal duty.

Checklist

  • Have you told your staff about the emergency plan?
  • Have you informed guests and visitors about what to do in an emergency?
  • Have you identified people you have nominated to do a particular task?
  • Have you given staff information about any dangerous substances?
  • Do you have arrangements for informing temporary or agency staff?
  • Do you have arrangements for informing other employers whose staff are guest workers in your premises, such as maintenance contractors and cleaners?
  • Have you co-ordinated your fire safety arrangements with other responsible people in the building?
  • Have you recorded details of any information or instructions you have given and the details of any arrangements for co-operation and co-ordination with others?
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