Your Fire Safety Log Book: What Do You Need to Know?
It’s a question that has been on the lips of many a business owner: what is the fire safety log book actually for?
You know that you’ve got one and have to have one. But why do you bother? Surely, in the event of a fire, it’ll get burnt to cinders anyway? So, what is it actually for, why do you need to maintain it, and how could your fire safety log book help your business?
What is a fire safety log book?
Fire safety log books are intended to document a building’s integral fire safety information. This includes fire safety standards, procedures, updates, and maintenance, and will be specific to each individual business and building. The purpose of the log book is to provide an easily accessible overview and point of reference for fire marshals, managers, service engineers, and any visiting Fire Officer. Helping to ensure that your business remains both safe, and compliant with all elements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
What should be included in your fire safety log book?
Your fire safety log book should include information on five broad areas. These include:
Are all building escape routes clear and well maintained? Can all doors be easily opened when needed? Are all pathways, including stairs, obstruction-free? Are all doors – including automatic doors and those with self-closing devices – fully operational? Have they been tested? Are all fire doors and other fire-retardant fixtures well maintained? And have all of these areas been included in your fire risk assessment?
Your weekly fire alarm testing, which should be conducted at the same time every week.
Weekly testing of any electrically controlled doors to ensure that they are fully operational when the fire alarm sounds.
Periodic inspections and testing, which should occur at least every six months and be carried out by a competent person.
Details of any false alarms. Including what caused the alarm to be triggered. And the steps that were taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Fire safety equipment
Your fire risk assessment will have alerted you to the fire safety equipment you need for your business. Your fire safety log book should be used to record all routine inspections, servicing, and maintenance of that equipment. Including:
All of your fire extinguishers should be subject to a fixed servicing and maintenance routine. Including monthly visual inspections conducted in-house. And a basic annual service and extended service, which should be conducted by a professional. The extended service is required every five or ten years, dependant on the type of extinguisher.
Like your fire extinguishers, your emergency lighting should be inspected on a regular basis. This should include a monthly function test, which can be carried out in-house by a trained employee. And annual discharge tests, which should be conducted by a qualified electrical engineer.
As previously mentioned, it is also essential that you ensure the safety and functionality of your fire doors. And other fire prevention fixtures, such as safety glass and fire walls. And this should take place at least every six months. More frequently in high traffic areas.
Fire safety training records
You are legally obliged to provide fire safety training to every person who works in your premises. Even if they are just there for a day. Or volunteering. And you have to keep a record of this training in your fire safety log book. Including annual refreshers.As well as standard employee fire safety training, you also need to keep a record of your fire marshal training. Including any additional courses attended, and any incidents they may have needed to deal with.
Fire drills All escape routes, meeting points, and fire drills should also be documented in your fire safety log book.
How could a fire safety log book be of use to your business?
There are two main benefits to using a fire safety log book.
Firstly, it can help you to ensure that you are keeping your business as safe as possible. With what is essentially a detailed fire safety checklist to hand, you can easily track actions and be sure that no areas are overlooked. Keeping equipment maintained and in full working order, should it be required. And keeping your employees as well-informed and protected as they possibly can be in the event of a fire. It’s also an incredibly useful tool to have to hand should you be considering any alterations to your premises, allowing you to make a detailed and informed plan of action.
Secondly, your fire safety log book helps you to guarantee compliance. As a business manager, you not only have a duty of care to your employees and customers, but a legal obligation to keep your premises as fire-safe as they can be. Should the worst happen, your fire safety log book can help protect you against accusations of malpractice. As, indeed, it can help to protect you against fines if a Fire Officer comes to call.
Workplace fire safety should be a priority for all business owners and managers. Not just because it is a legal requirement, but because it makes both moral and financial sense. With the future and safety of your business resting on a few routine processes, not maintaining your fire safety log book is nothing short of remiss.
1st Class Fire Protection is an industry-leading fire protection company, serving customers throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. If you are looking for fire safety advice then get in touch today. Our experienced team would be happy to help your business stay protected.