Fire Safety Audit Checklist Guidance Note

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1 Fire Safety Audit Checklist Guidance Note Introduction The purpose of this note is to explain the use of the attached Fire Safety Audit Checklist (see Appendix A ). The checklist is a useful toolkit for the Inspecting Officer when conducting a Fire Safety Audit in a structured and systematic way. The purpose of the Audit is to ensure an employer s (or other responsible person s) compliance with fire precautions legislation. Therefore the checklist has been compiled with questions that are aligned to Regulations 4, 5 & 6 of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended), and Regulations 1 5, 7-12 & 13(2) and 13(3) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations As an Auditor, it is better to think of yourself as someone who can help the employer, rather than someone who is looking for faults! Preparation It is recommended that time is taken to prepare for the Audit. If the workplace is known, then careful research of the premises file should be undertaken. Contact should also be made with a responsible person by telephone to explain the scope of the audit and what assistance will be required at the time of inspection. The checklist is designed to be used in whatever order the Inspecting Officer wishes to conduct the Audit. For example, records and other documents may be scrutinised before verification of the workplace s risk critical areas, or vice versa. Conducting the Audit Each Inspecting Officer will adopt their own style when carrying out the Audit. The checklist contains only closed questions (i.e. can only be answered yes or no). These questions are simply prompts for the Inspector and should not be asked directly to the person(s) being audited. For example, in the section dealing with Firefighting & Detection (Reg 4 WPR), there is a question, Is adequate training given? If you ask that question you will probably receive a reply in the affirmative! You will then be forced to ask supplementary questions. It is better to ask the responsible person(s) questions like, What type of extinguisher training do your employees receive, how often, and by whom? They will then be steered into giving you a more comprehensive response. This can then be verified by examining training records and questioning employees, etc. There are 3 columns on the checklist Compliance, Non-compliance and Observations. The observations column should be used when the Inspector has verified minimum compliance, and wishes to highlight means for improvement. An example of a completed form is shown in Appendix B. After the Audit Once the Audit is complete, it is advisable to hold a closing meeting with the responsible person(s) where possible. The areas of non-compliance should be highlighted, but just as important, encouragement should also be given for compliance. If appropriate, observations should also be made to encourage the process of continuous improvement.

2 Fire Safety Audit Checklist Appendix A Date of Audit: Audited by: Scope of Audit: Address of Workplace: Responsible Person(s) contacted: Workplace Regulations Firefighting & Detection firefighting equipment provided? Is FFE easily accessible, simple to use and indicated by means for giving warning/detection of fire? Have employees been nominated for firefighting duties? Is adequate training given? Are training records Have contacts been arranged with emergency services?

3 Emergency Routes & Exits routes & exits kept clear? Do they lead directly to a place of safety? Can employees evacuate quickly & safely? (Evacuation Drill records) Is the means of escape sufficient for numbers of people present? Do emergency doors open in direction of escape (where appropriate)? Are sliding/revolving doors not used as emergency exits? Are exit doors easily & immediately openable? Are exits indicated by routes and exits adequately lit?

4 Maintenance Is all fire safety equipment in good working order? maintenance? Are suitable records Management Regulations Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) Has a FRA been carried out? Has an Emergency Plan been prepared? system for planning? system for organisation? (Communication & consultation) system for control? monitoring? Is there a planned review? Have competent persons been appointed? Are there appropriate procedures for serious & imminent danger? Are employees provided with relevant information? Is there adequate cooperation & coordination between employers? Are host workers given adequate information? training given to all employees? Is responsibility clearly defined? Appendix B

5 Fire Safety Audit Checklist Date of Audit: April 9, 2001 Audited by: Mr Bloggs Scope of Audit: Full Workplace (Multi-occupied Premises) Address of Workplace: 123 Borough Avenue, London SE1 Responsible Person(s) contacted: Mr. J. Smith (for Managing Agent) Workplace Regulations Firefighting & Detection firefighting equipment provided? Occupiers 2, & 4 verified Is FFE easily accessible, simple to use and indicated by means for giving warning/detection of fire? Have employees been nominated for firefighting duties? Is adequate training given? Are training records Have contacts been arranged with emergency services? Yes all occupiers Yes Occupier 1 requires FFE for electrical equipment (office area) Occupier 1 records not showing competent person giving training Some FFE does not comply with BS - EN3 colour coding. Recommend standardisation Analogue addressable system recommended to reduce false alarms

6 Emergency Routes & Exits routes & exits kept clear? Do they lead directly to a place of safety? Can employees evacuate quickly & safely? (Evacuation Drill records) Is the means of escape sufficient for numbers of people present? Do emergency doors open in direction of escape (where appropriate)? Are sliding/revolving doors not used as emergency exits? Are exit doors easily & immediately openable? Are exits indicated by routes and exits adequately lit? Occupier 1 rear door of storeroom obstructed by boxes Maintenance Is all fire safety equipment in good working order? maintenance? Are suitable records Several false alarms in recent weeks. System could be modernised

7 Management Regulations Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) Has a FRA been carried out? Has an Emergency Plan been prepared? Occupier 1 has no emergency plan system for planning? system for organisation? (Communication & consultation) system for control? monitoring? Is there a planned review? Have competent persons been appointed? Are there appropriate procedures for serious & imminent danger? Are employees provided with relevant information? Is there adequate cooperation & coordination between employers? Are host workers given adequate information? training given to all employees? Is responsibility clearly defined? All occupiers have yet to schedule regular meetings No arrangements identified for contractors

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