Fire Safety - Cumbria County Council

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HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURE
NUMBER 8
MANAGEMENT OF FIRE SAFETY
CORPORATE HEALTH AND SAFETY UNIT.
STRATEGY AND PERFORMANCE
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure No 8
Page 1
Last revised April 2007
Management of Fire Safety
INDEX
8. MANAGEMENT OF FIRE SAFETY
PAGE
8.1
INTRODUCTION
3
8.2
POLICY
3
8.3
GUIDANCE
4
8.3.1
The requirements of the Regulatory Reform
(Fire Safety) Order 2005.
4
8.3.2
How should the responsible person be identified?
5
8.3.3
Fire Risk Assessments.
5
8.3.4
The full duties of Fire Wardens in this Council.
6
8.3.5
Considering the needs of the sensory and/or mobility
impaired and those with mental disabilities
7
8.3.6
Fire safety information for those performing inductions.
7
8.4
APPENDICES
8
Appendix 1
A Fire Risk Assessment checklist suitable
for an Office.
8.5
8
Appendix 2
Use of fire fighting equipment.
11
Appendix 3
Notes on safe means of escape for all.
12
Appendix 4
HM Government fire safety risk assessment
guides
12
REFERENCES
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure No 8
Page 2
Last revised April 2007
12
Management of Fire Safety
CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL
HEALTH AND S A F E T Y P R O C E D U R E
8. MANAGEMENT OF FIRE SAFETY
8.1
INTRODUCTION
This procedure has been designed to implement the requirements of the
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
As the name suggests the order reforms a number of separate pieces of
legislation relating to Fire.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order has now become the primary
piece of legislation dealing with fire, the compliance with therefore drives
Council policy on the management of fire safety.
The Order replaces former prescriptive approaches with one of self
compliance with the Order which put simply means that the Council has to
adopt the philosophy of:
> Our Building
> Our People
> Our Risk
> We manage it
It has also been designed to provide information in support of those who may
be called upon to undertake the H&S aspect of an induction to an employee
as specified in the HR Induction Policy.
8.2
POLICY
8.2.1 Each Chief Officer in accordance with the Corporate Health and Safety Policy,
should within their own Directorate prepare and keep up to date written details
of the arrangements for health and safety. Any such arrangements to effect
compliance with this health and safety procedure should be established by
integration into these management systems.
Assistance to departments/units on how to comply with the requirements of
this policy on the management of fire safety can be found within the Guidance
section of this procedure.
8.2.2 Each Chief Officer must within their own Directorates identify, notify and train
those that they consider to be the "responsible person" for fire as defined in
the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and maintain records of such.
8.2.3 The responsible person must ensure that all visitors receive information on
what to do in the event of fire for their given building/s irrespective of the time
of their visit.
8.2.4 The responsible person shall carry out as a, or identify a competent person to
carry out a Fire Risk Assessment for their given building/s and review the
assessment as necessary.
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Management of Fire Safety
8.2.5 The responsible person shall ensure that there is a documented emergency
plan in place for their building/s and ensure that training is provided to those
which have specific roles to play within them.
8.2.6 The responsible person shall nominate persons to perform the assisting role
of fire wardens and ensure that they have received the appropriate training in
their role.
8.3
GUIDANCE
8.3.1 The requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Order puts great emphasis on fire prevention, through the implementation
of measures derived from risk assessment.
It replaces fire certification under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 with a general
duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of employees
and others with regard to the hazards of fire. However, the fire precautions
that were previously imposed by the fire certificate cannot be discarded
without due consideration and good reason.
The main duty holder in relation to a given building is referred to in the Order
as being the "responsible person".
The Council has a large building stock and therefore will have large numbers
of responsible persons.
The Order requires the "responsible person" to ensure that:
•
A Fire Risk Assessment is carried out and is reviewed on a regular
basis, the findings of which must be considered and acted upon to a
risk based priority.
•
There is a documented emergency plan in place to respond to the
outbreak of fire.
The plan must consider the protection of those that may be in the
building at the time of an outbreak and the wider effects of the fire on
our neighbour's property and the natural environment and should be
reviewed as necessary.
•
Instruction and/or training is provided to all employees and visitors in
what to do in the event of fire and in their specific responsibilities under
the Emergency Plan and for routine measures carried out in the
interests of fire safety as appropriate.
•
They react to weaknesses in the management of fire safety of which
they become aware.
and specifically for this Council:
• Be the holder of the fire precautions log book unless there is a building
coordinator in place for the building.
Guidance has been published by the Department for Communities and Local
Government that suggest ways in which the various duties expressed in the
Order may be met.
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure No 8
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Management of Fire Safety
The Guides seek to consider the practical application of these duties and have
been produced as 11 building use specific HM Government Fire Safety Risk
Assessment Guides several of which are applicable to Council buildings.
A full listing of the guides can be found in Appendix 4.
8.3.2 How should the Responsible person be identified?
The Responsible person should be the senior manager for a single directorate
occupation or of the largest occupying directorate in a shared building.
The Property and Transport Services Unit holds records of who they consider
to be the largest occupying Directorate for shared buildings.
If the County Council has employees within a larger undertaking e.g. the City
Council, then the larger undertaking shall be responsible for identifying the
responsible person.
8.3.3 Fire Risk Assessments
The aim of a Fire Risk Assessment is to identify those improvements that
need to be made to the management of fire safety in a given building that will
reduce the risk of an outbreak of fire, ensure a swift evacuation to safety and
minimise the effect of a fire on our neighbours property and the natural
environment.
It therefore needs to take an organised and methodical look at the building
and to consider the activities carried out and those who may be at risk from a
fire at any time of the day.
The risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person which is
defined as "an employee who has attained a qualification endorsed by the
Institution of Fire Engineers and/or has had education, training and
experience in the principles of fire safety" * such people are able to recognise
the limitations of their knowledge.
* Selecting a competent Fire Risk Assessor - Institute of Fire Engineers website 2005.
The employees that have this level of competence within the Council are the
Health and Safety Advisors that are based in each Directorate.
Should these persons consider that they feel uneasy about performing a fire
risk assessment for a given building i.e. due to its complexity then
consideration should be given by the responsible person to calling in a
specialist to carry out the risk assessment.
Fire Risk Assessments lend themselves to a prompting questions approach
which provides the assessor with a framework to consider questions that will
identify the improvements that need to be made to the management of fire
safety.
There is currently no legislated standard for the format of a fire risk
assessment, however an example of suitable checklist for a building used as
an Office can be found in Appendix 1.
This particular checklist where possible makes use of the same section
headings as the HM Government Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guide No1
Offices and shops.
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8.3.4 The full duties of Fire Wardens in this Council
Though not specifically referred to in the order the responsible person needs
the help of what has become known as Fire Wardens or Fire Marshalls in
order to carry out their role.
The Fire Service Training Units at Penrith and Barrow can provide general
training for Fire Wardens, which aims to provide an understanding of the
behaviour of fire and the safe use of fire fighting equipment.
The full duties of Fire Wardens in this Council are listed as below:
(The responsible person may therefore need to provide training in addition to
the general training for the Wardens to be fully effective.)
9 To perform weekly alarm call point tests (in rotation) - which must
include checks that integrated security systems and all self closing
doors function correctly irrespective of whether they need power to
operate.
9 To organise fire drills and to record the findings.
9 To guide all to a place of comparative or ultimate safety in the event of
the fire alarm sounding.
9 To perform a roll call, if it is realistic for the given building and be the
person in charge for the Fire Service to liaise with. In the case of larger
buildings there will be several fire wardens, one of which will need to
take the lead.
9 To follow a checklist of questions that will identify unsafe conditions/
bad practices relating to fire safety - refer below.
9 To fight only the smallest of fires, but only if they feel competent to do
so and so as not to put themselves at risk e.g. a waste paper bin fire.
9 To assist the competent person to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment if
required.
9 To store all records relating to fire precautions activities in or as
appendices to the Fire Precautions Log Book for the given Building.
9 To report their findings and concerns to the responsible person by way
of a regular report.
* These duties have their origin in a supportive letter to Fire Wardens from the Cumbria Fire and
Rescue Service dated 2/6/06.
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure No 8
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Fire Warden Checklist
Yes/No
Keeping fuel and sources of ignition
apart
Are there any conditions that could
lead to the build up of heat?
Is good housekeeping being
practiced?
Is there any evidence that indicates
that the smoking policy is not being
followed
Escape routes
Are the escape routes clear of
rubbish and obstacles all the way to
and including the assembly point?
Can all fire doors and the final exit
door be opened easily at all times?
Are the fire door seals in good
condition?
Are luminaries and illuminated exit
signs in good condition and
undamaged?
Are the luminaries and illuminated
exit sign charge indicators where
fitted visible?
Raising the alarm
Are all the call points clear and
unobstructed?
Is the indicator panel showing
"normal"?
Fighting Fire
Are all the fire extinguishers in
place and visible and not being
used for other purposes?
Have the extinguishers all received
an annual test?
Are the extinguisher security tags in
position?
Are the extinguishers up to
adequate pressure?
Fire safety signs and fire notices
Are the fire safety signs and notices
conspicuous and in good condition?
Comments
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8.3.5 Considering the needs of the sensory and/or mobility impaired and those with
mental disabilities
In premises with a simple layout, a common sense approach, such as offering
to help lead a blind person or helping an elderly person down a couple of
steps may be enough. In more complex premises, more elaborate plans and
procedures will be needed, with trained staff assigned specific duties.
These plans are referred to as personal emergency evacuation plans
(PEEP's) and should be tailored to those that work in or who are just visitors to
the given building.
8.3.6 Fire safety information for those performing inductions
The HR induction policy checklist refers to the need to include information on fire and
the emergency evacuation procedure in place for the building, there is sufficient
information within this procedure to allow this to be carried out.
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8.4
APPENDICES
Appendix 1
A Fire Risk Assessment checklist for an Office.
This assessment must be accompanied by:
• A building layout diagram that has unambiguous room/area references.
• A record of the "fire safety features" to be found in each room/area.
both as applicable at the time of the assessment.
FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT FORM
1. Fire risks and preventative measures
What are the sources of ignition in the room/area?
Have all efforts been made to minimise fuel such as paper and furniture in the room/area?
Have all efforts been made to separate sources of ignition from fuel in the room/area?
(for example, the provision of shelving)
Is there a smoking policy in place for the Building?
Is there an adequate contractor management process in the Building?
Are regular electrical testing programmes/inspections in place for the Building?
Are any Arson controls in place?
Can anything be done to reduce the growth of a fire in the given room/area? (i.e. proofing of
materials)
Do structural members in the room/area need better protection in order to hinder heat
transfer beyond the room?
2. Fire detection and warning systems
NB A FIRE DETECTION AND WARNING SYSTEM SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROFESSIONALLY
DESIGNED AND INSTALLED THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS SHOULD HOWEVER BE
CONSIDERED.
Are the fire detectors of the appropriate type?
Are the fire detectors in the right place?
Are there sufficient numbers of the fire detectors?
Are there sufficient numbers of call points?
Are there places where Fire or smoke would not be detected after a reasonable time in the
room/area?
Is there zoning in use in the Building?
Can the alarm be heard at all points in the Building?
If the fire detection and warning system is electrically powered, does it have a back up power
supply?
Is a visual and/or vibration alert system needed for some of the users of the building?
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3. Firefighting equipment and facilities
Is the fire fighting equipment provided for the room/area of the correct type?
Are there sufficient numbers of portable extinguishers?
Are the portable extinguishers located where they are needed?
4. Escape routes
Are there sufficient numbers of fire exit doors from the room/area?
Is there more than one escape route from the room/area - if not is this acceptable?
Are the fire exit doors from the room/area of adequate dimensions?
Do any fire doors open opposite to the direction of escape?
Are the travel distances to places of comparative or ultimate safety acceptable?
Is the compartmentation in the room/area adequate?
Are there any breaches of the compartmentation that are in need of remedy (this includes the
doors and windows)?
Does consideration need to be made of that which cannot be seen, e.g. fire break
arrangements in voids?
Are the surface finishes of walls and ceilings currently acceptable? - (refer to that which was
formally acceptable under the Fire Certificate regime)
If the initial dead end condition applies in an open area has consideration been made of the
necessary adjustments to the travel distance?
If the inner room situation applies has adequate means of warning of a fire outbreak been
provided?
Have all other requirements for means of escape stipulated in the HM Government Fire
Safety risk assessment guide been met?
5. Emergency escape lighting
Is Emergency Lighting needed?
6. Signs and notices
Is there a signed assembly point?
7. Informing, instructing and training
All employees are made aware of fire safety issues and their responsibilities during induction,
but how are visitors advised - irrespective of the time of their visit?
8. Miscellaneous
What specific arrangements are in place for the evacuation of the mobility and/or sensory
impaired and those with mental disabilities?
Are Fire fighters cut off switches needed and available?
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Are there potentially any access difficulties to the building for the Fire and Rescue Service
and how can access be maintained at all times?
Has adequate provision of hydrants/risers been made?
How is the Council's person in charge to be identified?
Is there anything that the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service should be made aware of by the
Council's person in charge upon attendance concerning the building such as cylinders,
asbestos etc?
What maintenance, checking and testing is carried out?
> Portable extinguishers servicing?
> Alarm System servicing?
> Emergency lighting testing and servicing?
> Sprinklers and gas flooding systems?
> Wet/Dry Risers?
Have PTSU been advised of the identity of the responsible person so as to allow them to
advise the responsible person of any works that may affect this risk assessment and to
supply an amended layout drawing?
Record of findings
Record your findings at the end of the assessment as follows:
Summary: Items in need of Action (highest risk rating first)
Carried out by:
Date:
REMEMBER!
The responsible person as defined in the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005
must be made aware of the findings of this risk assessment - it is their responsibility
to take action to make the necessary improvements to the management of fire safety
that have been identified by this risk assessment.
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Appendix 2 Use of fire fighting equipment
All new extinguishers must conform to the British Standard BS EN 3, which means that they
will have a red body, a coloured band to indicate their contents and a standard pictogram to
inform of the types of fire on which they can be used. Older extinguishers are still in use
however and can be recognised by having only one body colour, these do not need to be
replaced until they have reached the end of their serviceability.
The old and new extinguishers share the same colour coding to indicate their contents with
one body colour or band respectively as:
RED
BLACK
CREAM
BLUE
CONTAINS WATER
CONTAINS CO2
CONTAINS FOAM
CONTAINS DRY POWDER
The pictograms are as follows:
Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Class A fires e.g. wood, paper etc.
Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Class B fires e.g. flammable liquids.
Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Class C fires e.g. flammable gases.
Indicates the extinguisher is suitable for use on Electrical Fires.
Other fire fighting equipment
HOSE REELS
These can be either automatic or manual in operation.
There is an unlimited supply of water to the hose reel.
FIRE BLANKET
Effective at smothering a fire and protecting the user from heat
and flames.
Three things to remember regarding the use of fire fighting equipment.
1. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, HOSE REELS AND FIRE BLANKETS ARE ONLY INTENDED
TO FIGHT THE SMALLEST OF FIRES TO PREVENT THEM FROM ESCALATING.
2. THEY SHOULD ONLY BE USED BY THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO DO SO.
3. THEY SHOULD REMAIN IN THEIR INTENDED LOCATION AND NOT BE USED FOR
ANY OTHER PURPOSE.
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Appendix 3 Notes on escape routes
In the event of fire, the occupants of a building must have a defined escape route/s available
to allow them to reach a place of ultimate safety (out and away from the building) and will
perhaps need to pass through a place of comparative safety in order to get there.
A place of comparative safety is anywhere within a protected route (that forms a fire and
smoke resisting box through which people can travel)
The suggested distance that a person must travel in order to reach a place of comparative
safety or place of ultimate safety in the event of an outbreak of fire is known as the travel
distance.
Ensuring a safe means of escape for all will depend upon several factors:
ƒ The number of people that could potentially be in the building
ƒ Whether any of the occupants have sensory and/or mobility impairments or mental
disability.
ƒ The construction of the building
ƒ The use to which the building is put
ƒ The number of floors and the layout of rooms and corridors on those floors.
these factors determine the "rules" for the number and width of exit doors from a room, the
number of escape routes, the travel distances and whether the protected routes need to be
of 30 minute or 60 minute fire resisting capacity.
The "rules" can be found in the HM Government Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guides, which
assume that a professionally designed and installed fire alarm system is in place that will
provide a warning such that the time available for escape is greater than the time needed for
escape to a place of comparative or preferably ultimate safety.
The suggested time needed for escape ranges from 2 minutes to 3 minutes dependent upon
the risk category of the building - these categories can also be found in the HM Government
Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guides.
Appendix 4
HM Government Fire Safety risk assessment guides
Guide number 1
Guide number 2
Guide number 3
Guide number 4
Guide number 5
Guide number 6
Guide number 7
Guide number 8
Guide number 9
Guide number10
Guide number 11
8.5
Offices and shops
Factories and warehouses
Sleeping accommodation
Residential care premises
Educational premises
Small and medium places of assembly
Large places of assembly
Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
Open air events and venues
Healthcare premises
Transport premises and facilities
Supplementary guide Means of escape for disabled people
REFERENCES
The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 SI No1541
A study book for the NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management
RMS Publishing Ltd
HM Government Fire Safety Risk Assessment - Guide No.1: Offices and Shops.
BS EN3 European Standard for portable fire extinguishers.
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure number 9 - Safety Signs &
Symbols.
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure number 15 - Risk
assessments.
Cumbria County Council Health and Safety Procedure No 8
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Management of Fire Safety

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