As a business owner in the UK, there are many laws and regulations you need to abide by to ensure your business is safe and secure. These range from the obvious health and safety requirements to more complex industry-specific legislation.

One of the most important areas of health and safety law is fire safety but, the fire alarm regulations for business owners in the UK are not the easiest to navigate. We’ve put together a simple, plain-English guide to help you meet your legal obligations and make any necessary investments or equipment purchases to safeguard your premises.

Fires Need to be Easily Detected

Fire alarm control panelMany business owners question whether a fire alarm is a legal requirement on their premises. The answer to this is no, however business owners do need ‘an appropriate fire detection system’ in their place of business.

If your premises are small, open-plan and in the event of a fire it would be obvious there was one, there are no high-risk substances or high-risk activities (such as cooking) taking place, with no vulnerable occupants such as children or elderly people, it is unlikely a fire alarm will be necessary. However, if any of these statements do not apply to your business, it is highly likely you will need a fire alarm and other fire detection equipment.

Fire Alarms Must Be Checked Regularly

If you do have a fire alarm in your business premises, you must check the fire alarm is working correctly on a regular basis. The national Fire Alarm Regulations state that the business owner must visually check their fire alarm control panel for faults on a daily basis. A weekly fire alarm test should also take place.

You, as the business owner, or a designated member of staff, should test the alarm weekly by activating at least one fire alarm call-point, checking that the alarm sounds clearly and the panel receives the signal. The test must be recorded in your fire alarm logbook, noting the call-points you tested. Your fire alarm panel should then be reset. Any issues you have with your fire alarm during testing should be reported immediately to your fire safety company.

Fire Alarms Need to be Regularly Serviced

Fire alarm servicing is also essential to ensure that the system is adequately maintained. It is recommended that a competent person, such as a qualified security company, carries this out at least once a year and all tests must be recorded in the fire alarm log book in order to comply with fire safety requirements.
If you need additional help navigating fire safety legislation or would like a site survey to determine the most appropriate fire detection and alert system for your business, call us or email to book an appointment.