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Fire

Your legal duties and steps you can take to improve fire safety

Fire presents a significant risk to businesses. It can kill or seriously injure employees or visitors and can also damage or destroy buildings, equipment or stock. 

The Scottish Fire Rescue Service is the body responsible of enforcing fire legislation within Scotland. They may visit your premises to ensure that you have taken the necessary precautions to manage fire hazards within your organisation.

Use the links below to find information on identifying and managing the risk of fire within your organisation. 

  1. Common fire related hazards
  2. Fire safety precautions
  3. Fire safety training
  4. Fire safety legislation

3. Fire safety training

The main fire safety legislation in Scotland is the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005. The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 is guidance for those who have a responsibility under the Act for ensuring fire safety within the workplace.

All employers have a legal duty to provide all employees with appropriate fire safety training.

Fire safety training should be carried out on a regular basis and should be suitable and appropriate to the employee’s workplace.

The scale of the training would depend on the size of the business organisation or the nature of the work.

Employee fire safety training records should be kept as this will allow the employer to establish which employees have carried out fire training and which employees need to have refresher training.

Some of the topics that should be covered in fire safety training are

  • fire evacuation training
  • fire extinguisher training
  • being able to identify and understand fire safety signage
  • being able to understand the need to have the appropriate fire escape routes clear at all times and to have suitable fire doors in place
  • who to contact in the event of a workplace fire.

It is important that all employees have been informed of any safe systems of work or safety procedure that needs to be followed.

COVID-19

To minimise the risk of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace, you might introduce changes to the way you organise work. 

You will need to review your current fire risk assessment and make any identified adjustments. 

You should train your employees to update them on any changes. You should discuss how you will undertake fire and evacuation training with your staff. Include fire training at inductions for new staff, those returning and all staff if your processes have changed. 

You may need to do this training differently to allow physical distancing (also known as social distancing)

  • Keep your systems and changes as simple as possible. 
  • Make sure all your staff are aware of and understand any new procedures.
  • Fire procedures should be explained on the first day of work. 
  • You may update staff on a 1 to 1 basis to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 
  • Use online meeting facilities to update groups (such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams). 
  • Carry out a question and answer training session – this could be done on a 1-to-1 basis or through online meeting facilities. 
  • Use fire training videos or online training packages if available – remember you still need to explain your local arrangements. 
  • Carry out desktop drills – simulate an emergency in your workplace and ask employees to simulate an evacuation avoiding the emergency location. Ask your employees...how would you evacuate the building? Do they know where the nearest fire exit is? Do they know where the assembly point is? Do they know how to raise the fire alarm? 

To find out more, visit our planning to return to work pages.  

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