As part of our commitment to continually improve our service and to help our clients meet their legal obligations, we continue to update the Legal Registers on our website and provide free quarterly legal compliance updates to anyone who subscribes. The purpose of these updates is to ensure you stay up to date with any changes in your legal compliance obligations, our updates can also be kept and can be used as evidence that your business is staying up to date with any changes in the legislation, this can be very helpful at audit time.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Guidance Note on fire extinguishers provides guidance on the selection, installation, and maintenance of fire extinguishers in the workplace. The purpose of the guidance is to help employers meet their legal duties under the Fire Precautions (Amendment) Regulations 1999 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The guidance note outlines the requirements for different types of fire extinguishers, depending on the nature of the fire risk in the workplace. It provides advice on how many extinguishers are needed, where they should be located, and how they should be maintained.
The HSE guidance note applies to all workplaces, including offices, shops, factories, warehouses, and public buildings. It is aimed at employers, facilities managers, and others responsible for fire safety in the workplace.
The requirements for fire extinguishers in the workplace can vary depending on the size and nature of the workplace, the number of employees, and the type of activities carried out. The HSE guidance note provides a framework for assessing fire risks and selecting appropriate fire extinguishers, as well as advice on how to maintain and use them safely.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Guidance Note on fire extinguishers requires employers to provide evidence to demonstrate compliance with fire safety regulations. This evidence must be provided to enforcing authorities, such as local fire and rescue services, upon request.
The evidence requirements of the HSE guidance note include:
1. Fire risk assessment: Employers must carry out a fire risk assessment to identify potential fire hazards and assess the level of risk. This assessment should be documented and include information on the location and type of fire extinguishers required.
2. Selection of fire extinguishers: The selection of fire extinguishers should be based on the results of the fire risk assessment. Employers must provide evidence to show that the chosen extinguishers are suitable for the specific types of fire risks identified.
3. Location of fire extinguishers: Fire extinguishers must be located in appropriate positions to ensure that they can be accessed quickly in the event of a fire. Employers must provide evidence to show that the location of the extinguishers is suitable and complies with the relevant regulations.
4. Maintenance of fire extinguishers: Fire extinguishers must be regularly maintained to ensure that they remain in good working order. Employers must provide evidence to show that the extinguishers have been serviced and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the relevant regulations.
5. Training: Employees who are expected to use fire extinguishers must be trained in their proper use. Employers must provide evidence to show that employees have received appropriate training.
The evidence provided to demonstrate compliance with the HSE guidance note may include documentation such as fire risk assessments, maintenance records, and training records. This evidence will be used by enforcing authorities to assess whether employers are meeting their legal duties under fire safety regulations.
There are no specific exemptions to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Guidance Note on fire extinguishers. All employers are required to comply with fire safety regulations and provide appropriate fire extinguishers for their workplace.
However, the HSE guidance note recognizes that the requirements for fire extinguishers may vary depending on the nature of the workplace and the level of fire risk. Employers are therefore required to carry out a fire risk assessment to determine the specific requirements for their workplace.
In some cases, the risk assessment may determine that fire extinguishers are not necessary or that other fire safety measures are more appropriate. For example, if the workplace has a low fire risk and there are no combustible materials present, fire extinguishers may not be required.
However, even if fire extinguishers are not required, employers still have a legal duty to ensure that adequate fire safety measures are in place to protect their employees and visitors. This may include measures such as installing smoke detectors, providing clear evacuation procedures, and ensuring that all electrical equipment is maintained and used safely.
In summary, while there are no specific exemptions to the HSE guidance note on fire extinguishers, the specific requirements for fire safety measures in the workplace will vary depending on the results of the fire risk assessment. Employers must ensure that appropriate fire safety measures are in place, regardless of whether fire extinguishers are required.
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Including our quarterly legal compliance updates that are a great resource for evidence for your ISO audits.