What’s a Fire Safety Audit?

Person using a fire extinguisher

Back in March (2017), the leaseholder and current operator of the International Hotel in Derby was sentenced to six months in prison and fined £60,000.

Why? Well, it all stemmed from a string of unsafe practices that were uncovered at the hotel during a Fire Safety Audit, conducted by Fire Safety Inspecting Officers from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service.

What’s a Fire Safety Audit?

A Fire Safety Audit is an examination of your business’ premises and relevant documents by fire safety inspectors, to ascertain how your premises are being managed with regards to fire safety.

During the audit, officers may speak to some of your employees to ensure their fire safety awareness is at the level you proclaimed.

Why do it?

Fire Safety Audits are usually pre-arranged and can be conducted for a number of reasons:

  • A complaint
  • A fire
  • A follow-up audit
  • On request, i.e. if an owner or occupier requests an audit
  • In conjunction with other authorities, i.e. if you’ve submitted a premises license application.

Documents you’ll need during a Fire Safety Audit

You may be asked to present the below documents during an audit:

  • A fire risk assessment
  • Action plans – if any significant findings were uncovered from the fire risk assessment
  • A document detailing what your protocol is for emergency evacuation
  • Preventative measures to avoid fires in your premises
  • Fire drill records
  • Records from staff fire training
  • Fire safety maintenance checklist
  • A list of dangerous substances in the premises
  • Proof that the following have been tested: fire detection and warning systems; emergency lighting; sprinkler system; ventilation system; firefighting equipment; electrical wiring in the building; and portable appliances.

This list is not exhaustive or representative of each and every Fire Safety Audit. You may need to produce other documents that aren’t included in this list.

What happens after the Fire Safety Audit?

You’ll be given a report which will include any findings, recommendations and action points from your visit.

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