Q The Quoin Consultancy

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1 Q The Quoin Consultancy Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart & St. John the Evangelist London Road, Bushey Hertfordshire WD23 1BA FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT

2 CONTENTS REVIEW LOG SECTION INTRODUCTION 1.1 Generally 1.2 Limitations 1.3 The Legislation 1.4 Your Duties 1.5 The Site and this Report SECTION 2.0 SUMMARY RECOMMENDATIONS 2.1 Fire Procedures and Planning 2.2 Storage of Combustible Materials 2.3 Fire Detection Facilities 2.4 Emergency Escape Routes & Exits 2.5 Fire Signage 2.6 Fire Action Notices 2.7 Emergency Lighting 2.8 Electrical Plant & Equipment 2.9 Fire Fighting Equipment 2.10 Fire Doors & Shutters 2.11 Conclusion APPENDIX A SITE INSPECTION PHOTOGRAPHS APPENDIX B - FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT INSPECTION SCHEDULE OF DEFECTS / HAZARDS APPENDIX C FIRE SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST 2

3 Review Log Date of Original Risk Assessment: 7 th May 2014 Review Date Assessor Company Signed Prioritised Action Schedule Revised Yes No Items Requiring Action Action By (Date) Date Completed Next Review Date M Poulter The Quoin Consultancy Yes (See Appendix A) October 2014 May 2015

4 SECTION INTRODUCTION 1.1 GENERALLY This Fire Risk Assessment and Report has been prepared for the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart & St John the Evangelist. The report was compiled following a site assessment which took place on 7 th May The assessment commenced at 10:00am and took approximately 2 hours to complete. The survey comprised a physical inspection of all areas of the buildings together with verbal information provided by personnel on site. The objective of this risk assessment is: To identify factors which may cause harm to people, property and/or the environment either during or as a result of a fire. To consider the likelihood or chance of that harm actually happening and the possible consequences that could come from it. To enable the Responsible Person to plan, implement and monitor the preventive and protective measures to ensure that the risks are controlled as reasonably practicable at all times. 1.2 LIMITATIONS This assessment is based on a visible inspection on the physical conditions which were present at the point of inspection together with verbal information by personnel on site. As instructed the assessment is limited to all workplace areas of the church, parish centre hall and offices within the presbytery but specifically excludes private accommodation within the presbytery. This assessment is an overview of the risk of fire and associated procedures and does not provide an assessment or survey of the building fabric or its condition. This report and its recommendations must be considered and reviewed as a constituent part of an overall health and safety risk assessment and procedures. Further and notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this assessment and without prejudice to any provision in the assessment whereby liability is excluded or limited to a lesser amount, any liability under or in connection with this assessment, whether in contract or in tort, in negligence, for breach of statutory duty or otherwise, for any claim for loss or damage wholly, partly, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from or associated in any way (including without limitation the costs of detection, prevention, mitigation, training, remediation or reinstatement associated with fire) shall not exceed the amount, if any, recoverable by The Quoin Consultancy by way of indemnity against the claim in question under professional indemnity insurance taken out by The Quoin Consultancy and in force at the time the claim or (if earlier) circumstances that may give rise to the claim is or are reported to the insurers in question. This limitation shall not apply if no such amount is recoverable due to The Quoin Consultancy having been in breach of its obligations to maintain professional

5 indemnity insurance under this assessment or the terms of (any insurance maintained in accordance therewith or having failed to report the claim or such circumstances to the insurers in question timorously). 1.3 THE LEGISLATION REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER (RRFSO) 2005 As the name suggests this legislation reforms a number of pieces of legislation relating to fire. The main pieces of legislation replaced with this single order are the Fire Precautions Act (FPA), Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations (FPWR), Licensing Act and Housing Act. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005 becomes the primary piece of legislation dealing with fire. The legislation applies to most non-domestic premises other than offshore installations, ships, agricultural or forestry land, mines and boreholes. This included premises relating to the voluntary sector and self-employment in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland come under separate legislation). For example: Factories and warehouses. Offices and shops. Pubs, clubs and restaurants. Hotels and hostels. Premises that provide care. Community halls and church buildings. Schools. Tents and marquees. Open air public gatherings (concerts, shows etc.). The RRFSO represents a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention, through the implementation of measures derived from risk assessments. The RRFSO abolishes Fire Certificates, removing their legal status. However, the fire precautions they imposed cannot be discarded without due consideration and good reason. It replaces fire certification under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 with a general duty to ensure in relation to non-employees to take such fire precautions as may reasonably be required in the circumstances to ensure that premises are safe and also a duty to carry out a risk assessment. 5

6 1.4 YOUR DUTIES The main duty-holder is the responsible person in relation to the premises. The duties of the responsible person are extended to any person who has, to any extent, control of the premises. In summary the RRFSO requires the responsible person to: Carry out or nominate someone to carry out a fire risk assessment identifying the risks and hazards. Consider who may be especially at risk. Eliminate or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably practical and provide general fire precautions to deal with any residual risk. Take additional measures to ensure fire safety where flammable or explosive materials are used or stored. Create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, document the findings. Review the findings as necessary. 1.5 THE SITE AND THIS REPORT The existing site comprises Church, Presbytery and Parish Centre. This report is summarised with recommendations in the following sections and is supported by a schedule of defects/hazards in Appendix A which serves to identify the fire risks noted during the site inspection. 6

7 2.0 SUMMARY RECOMMENDATIONS The following sections summarise our site observations and recommendations. 2.1 FIRE PROCEDURES & PLANNING As with all health and safety matters it is important to plan and put in place management procedures for monitoring existing equipment and provisions relating to fire. Adequate plans should also be made on how to react in the event of a fire. Both of these items should be recorded, conveyed to those affected by them and regularly reviewed. No such detailed provisions could be found during our inspection we therefore recommend that inspections of the occupied areas are carried out by a competent person on a weekly basis; the findings recorded and actioned. A sample check list is provided in Appendix B at the rear of this document for this purpose. The fire alarm system in the all is inspected by Fire System Solutions Ltd and id due for a further inspection on 14 th March No record of testing could be found. Recommendations: We therefore recommend that inspections of the occupied areas are carried out by a competent person on a weekly basis; the findings recorded and actioned. A sample check list is provided in Appendix B at the rear of this document for this purpose. As a result of the findings of this risk assessment the person responsible for the buildings should go on to develop and publish an emergency fire plan and ensure that all parties likely to be effected by it are aware of its content. They may also need to nominate key people and ensure that they are adequately trained for their allocated task. LOW In drawing up the procedure care must be taken to ensure that:- A senior member of staff is responsible for safety (which will include the prevention and action to be taken in the event of a fire) All members of staff are given clear and comprehensive instructions Responsibilities in the event of a fire are clearly allocated The design of the building and any identified hazards are taken into account The alarm system is clearly audible throughout the premises The evacuation procedure is efficient and understood by staff who are normally present in the buildings

8 In the event of an evacuation provision is made to search every part of the premises Practice fire drills are held at least once a year A record of all tests and inspections of installations, plant, equipment and provisions should also be kept. 2.2 STORAGE OF COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS All combustible or flammable materials should be stored away from ignition sources and not on designated escape routes. The timber stairs to the gallery and tower are the only means of escape in the event of a fire. The cupboards under the stairs is currently being used to store cardboard boxes which would provide combustible material in the event of a fire. F1 Recommendations: We recommend that the risk of fire spread to the staircase is significantly reduced by ensuring it is not used for storage and included on the weekly inspections mentioned elsewhere. HIGH 2.3 FIRE DETECTION FACILITIES The majority of fires occur at night when people are not present to deal with them. In the day many fires start in parts of the building which are not used frequently such as store rooms. It is unreliable and dangerous to rely on occupants to detect fires in this situation as they may not be in the right location at the crucial moment or may react incorrectly. The most efficient way is to install an automatic detection system. These will take the form of either smoke or heat detectors and will result in an audible and/or a visible alarm being raised. Fire detection is currently limited to physical inspections and vigilance on the part of building occupants within the church combined with a limited number of break glass call points and fire alarm system in the church hall. There does not appear to be any measure of automatic fire detection in any areas. Many of the areas are accessed by changing numbers of people whose procedures may be difficult to control, which may in turn lead to the inappropriate storage of materials and poor fire prevention procedures. Much of the premises is reasonable distant from the presbytery meaning that a fire at night may well go undetected for a considerable time. 8

9 Recommendations: We therefore recommend that consideration be given to installing an automated fire detection system including smoke detectors in the storage and other high risk areas. This system should be designed by a specialist engineer and should focus on placing automatic detectors in areas of high risk e.g. plant rooms, storage cupboards and kitchens. 2.4 EMERGENCY ESCAPE ROUTES AND EXITS As part of the preparation of an overall emergency escape plan, designated protected routes leading to a place of safety must be provided and the provisions communicated via signage to building occupants. The current provisions are basically adequate with escape routes leading to an external space or internal area of relative safety. However, a number of improvements will need to be made to fire doors and signage to provide a wholly satisfactorily system, as noted elsewhere. 2.5 FIRE SIGNAGE The objective of an escape route signing system is to ensure exits are identified from any place in a building and where this is not possible directional signs leading to the exit are installed. In some buildings it is desirable to make the premises appear less institutional and signs can be posted less frequently e.g. care homes, churches. Fire signage within the hall is generally adequate however, signage within the church and ancillary rooms is lacking which may result in doors to high risk plant areas being left open and building occupants having difficulty in locating the nearest exit in an emergency. F3 F8 Recommendations: Fire exit signs should be provided above each of the fire exit doors from the church and plant rooms provided with the appropriate keep shut signs. MEDIUM 9

10 2.6 FIRE ACTION NOTICES Fire action notices should be posted at part of the fire points adjacent to each exit point at strategic locations throughout the building and should ideally accompany a break glass point and a fire extinguisher. These notices will state in concise terms the essentials of the action to be taken upon discovering a fire and on hearing the fire alarm. Individuals should not be encouraged to tackle fires unless they have been trained in the assessment of the risk and the use and limitations of the firefighting equipment. With the exception of a partially completed notice in the hall no fire notices were noted at the time of inspection which could lead to confusion in an emergency situation. F9 & F10 Recommendations: We recommend that fire action notices are prepared and posted at the fire points adjacent to each final exit door and intermediate fire point. Pre-printed notices are available commercially but will need to be completed before being displayed. LOW 2.7 EMERGENCY LIGHTING Emergency lighting is required within a building to indicate the emergency escape route, provide adequate illumination along such routes so as to ensure safe passage to a place of safety and ensure fire alarms and other emergency equipment provided along the route can be readily located. Any lighting provided will need to be checked frequently to ensure that it is still operational and tested and serviced regularly by an engineer to ensure its continued reliable operation. Emergency lighting is provided within the parish centre hall and is integrated into the fire alarm system. No emergency lighting is provided within the church building. Recommendations: Consideration should be given to providing emergency lighting to the escape routes within the church building to facilitate escape during an emergency power failure. MEDIUM All emergency lighting should be inspected and tested on a regular basis. 10

11 2.8 ELECTRICAL PLANT & EQUIPMENT All electrical apparatus is a potential source of ignition, particularly if it is not adequately maintained. Fire can result from blocked vents, frayed wires and cables etc. All electrical plant from heating boilers to kettles should be regularly inspected, tested and the results recorded by a qualified electrical engineer, who will also advise on the frequency of re-testing for each item based on individual factors including age, exposure, use etc. No evidence of testing was observed during our inspection and poorly maintained electrical equipment may lead to electrical fires. Recommendations: We suggest that an engineer be appointed to carry out inspections of all portable appliances annually and the electrical power and lighting installations by Quoin Consultancy. Management procedures should then be implemented to ensure that the situation is reviewed on a regular basis. HIGH 2.9 FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT As part of the fire plan the Client will need to formulate a policy towards the fighting of fires to protect the building and its occupants. The type of equipment installed will depend on a number of factors including the building use, its design, cost and the training of personnel. Equipment may include portable fire extinguishers and fixed firefighting systems such as sprinklers, hose reels, risers, fire blankets etc. Any equipment installed will need to be checked regularly by the responsible person and inspected/tested on a regular basis to ensure its continued effective operation. All staff who will be required to operate the equipment will need to be trained so that they are competent in the assessment of the fire risk, the operation of the plant and its limitations. The nature of this building and the level of fire risk requires the client to provide fire extinguishers along the escape routes, at fire points and at high risk locations. An adequate quantity of fire extinguishers are provided throughout the building however some revision to their locations is required as indicated by our site observations. 11

12 Extinguishers are tested and maintained by Fire Systems Solutions Ltd. Recommendations: All equipment should be inspected, tested and the findings by a specialist company on an annual basis. The installed extinguishers are due for re-test on 18 th March LOW The fire extinguisher bracket in the main parish hall is broken and the extinguisher cannot be correctly mounted. F11 Recommendations: The bracket should be repaired and the extinguisher replaced. LOW The extinguisher in the sacristy is not of the preferred type and could cause damage if deployed on the photocopier. Recommendations: Replace with a CO2 extinguisher and relocate foam extinguisher which is concealed behind robes to the exit door. F12 & F FIRE DOORS AND SHUTTERS Fire doors should be installed to openings onto protected escape routes from the building and be of a designed resistance at least equal to the wall or partition in which they are installed. Such doors should be openable in the direction of travel and fitted with sufficient features to enable them to contain a fire and smoke in their particular situation e.g. self-closing devices, smoke seals, advice signage etc. fire resisting doors should also be provided to rooms of high fire risk e.g. plant rooms, paper stores etc. Fire doors within the parish hall are well equipped and in good order while those in the church are older and do not include smoke seals or adequate selfclosing devices. Recommendations: It is recommended that smoke seals and self-closing devices are fitted to all fire doors in the church and adjoin lobbies. HIGH The kitchen area within the parish centre is separated from the hall by a 12

13 partition and fire door. This door was wedged open at the time of inspection. However the same partition contains a serving hatch opening which does not have any doors and would allow any kitchen fire to spread rapidly into the main hall. Recommendations: We therefore recommend that a fire proof shutter (30 minute rating) is installed to seal the kitchen from the hall. Management systems should be put in place to ensure that the shutter and door are kept closed when not in use this would include fire door keep shut signs on each. MEDIUM F14 & F CONCLUSION An attempt has been made to put basic fire precautions in place but further efforts need to be made to ensure their adequacy to protect people and property in a building of this nature. Particular care will need to be taken to ensure that any improvements to the current system are managed and reviewed to ensure their continued effectiveness. Completed by:- For and on Behalf of: - The Quoin Consultancy 196 Fernbank Road North Ascot Berkshire SL5 8LA Tel: May

14 APPENDIX A SITE PHOTOGRAPHS 14

15 Fire Risk Assessment Photographs F1 F2 F3 F4

16 F5 F6 F7 F8

17 F9 F10 F11 F12

18 F13 F14 F15

19 APPENDIX B FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT INSPECTION SCHEDULE OF DEFECTS / HAZARDS 15

20 Q FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT INSPECTION SCHEDULE OF DEFECTS/ HAZARDS Premises: Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart & St. John the Evangelist Date: 7 th May 2014 Location Defect / Hazard Action Photo Ref Corrected Date General Lack of regular inspections and recording Member of staff to carry out weekly inspections using checklist provided N/A General Not all inspections and testing of electrical and gas plant is recorded Risk of fire from defective plant Ensure all inspections and tests are carried out and recorded. N/A Gallery Staircase Combustible material Remove materials and inspect weekly F1 Boiler Room Door is not fire resisting Risk of fire spread Upgrade door to fire door and provide fire door keep shut sign. F2 Lobby Door to church no fire sign Provide fire door keep shut sign. F3 1

21 Q Location Defect / Hazard Action Photo Ref Corrected Date Church Fire exit doors are not signed and some are locked or obstructed Provide fire exit signs above doors and ensure that they can be opened without a key in an emergency, are free from obstructions and are self closing with smoke seals fitted to 3 edges. F4 F5 F6 F7 Flower Room Electrical plant cupboard must be kept shut to prevent fire spread. Provide method of locking doors shut and post fire sign electrical plant keep locked shut. F8 Generally Fire notices are either absent or incomplete Risk of occupants being poorly informed. Provide completed notices at fire point adjacent to exits i.e. with extinguisher and break glass call point. F9 F10 Parish Hall Fire extinguisher bracket broken. Repair bracket. F11 Sacristy Fire extinguisher is difficult to locate. Relocate adjacent to exit and mount on wall with an identification sign. F12 Sacristy Foam fire extinguisher is provided for photocopier which if deployed can cause considerable damage to the machine. Replace with a CO² extinguisher and mount on the wall adjacent to the photocopier. F13 2

22 APPENDIX C FIRE SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST 16

23 FIRE SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST Weekly / Monthly / Quarterly YES NO Defect Rectified Escape Routes 1. Are exit routes and gangways clear? 2. Do exit doors open easily? 3. Are exit signs visible and legible? 4. Are the fire resisting doors undamaged? 5. Do the fire resisting doors shut properly? Fire Fighting Equipment 6. Are the fire extinguishers in their correct places? 7. Are the fire extinguishers unobstructed? 8. Are the fire extinguishers unused? 9. Are the fire extinguishers undamaged? Fire Alarm System 10. Are the fire alarm call points visible? 11. Are the fire alarm call points accessible? Equipment 12. Are air vents unblocked on electrical equipment? 13. Is electrical equipment being used safely? Staff 14. Have all new staff been trained in fire safety? General 15. Are the fire hazards unaltered in your area since the last check? If any has been placed in a clear box above, a report may need to be made.

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