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What are the Fire Regulations for Commercial Buildings?

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what are the fire regulations for commercial buildings?

As a business owner or site manager, you want your commercial premises to be safe and compliant. As well as electrical checks and other safety measures, fire regulations for commercial buildings are an important issue to consider.

But what are they? And who is responsible for making sure they’re adhered to? Read on as we provide all the answers.

Fire regulations in England and Wales

In England and Wales, fire regulations are set by the 2005 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. It was introduced to make legal obligations simpler when it comes to fire safety and applies to pretty much all commercial buildings.

One of the most important things covered is the need for a fire risk assessment. This is a full review of your commercial premises to assess any fire risks and note recommended changes that could improve safety. It can be completed in-house or by a specialist, but must be recorded if you have five or more people working on the premises.

Here are the other main points covered:

  • Alarms – All commercial buildings need an appropriate fire detection system. When the alarm sounds, everyone in the building should be able to hear it clearly. It also needs to be tested weekly and serviced at least twice a year.
  • Extinguishers – You’ll also need access to the appropriate equipment for fighting fires. This includes the appropriate fire extinguishers in a suitable location. It may also comprise hose reels and sprinklers. Extinguishers will need to be tested and maintained annually by a competent person.
  • Signs – According to the fire regulations, commercial buildings also need at least two visible fire safety signs. A Fire Action Notice tells people what to do in the event of a fire, while a Fire Extinguisher ID Sign outlines fire extinguisher types and locations.
  • Lighting – The regulations also outline a requirement for emergency lighting, which illuminates exit routes along with other key areas. This should be professionally serviced every year as well as tested by turning it on and off on a monthly basis.

Who is responsible for commercial buildings?

Legal responsibility for adhering to fire regulations can apply to a commercial building owner, landlord, employer, occupier or anyone with control of the building – including facilities managers and property management companies.

In other words, nobody is exempt. As an employer or occupier, you can’t simply point a finger at the owner or landlord – and vice-versa.

All businesses will also need to appoint a ‘Responsible Person’ - this can be yourself or an employee. They will be responsible for ensuring all of the duties discussed above are taken care of – either by themselves or a third party.

Stay on the right side of commercial fire regulations

Whether you’re a commercial building owner, site manager or employer, fire regulations are paramount to keep your staff safe and avoid costly fire damage. If you’re based in Yorkshire, Volta Compliance can make things easier with reliable and professional electrical services.

Our team can take care of regular fire alarm servicing and emergency lighting tests to make sure your equipment is always on stand-by. We also provide electrical testing and inspection services to keep everything in good working order and minimise the risk of an electrical fire.

Want to make sure you’re meeting the fire regulations for commercial buildings? Call us on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected].


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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.