How To Prepare for a Fire Safety Inspection

22 April 2020

Local Fire and Rescue Services conduct regular fire safety inspections on business premises to ensure that they comply with standards. This will involve a visit from a representative of the Fire and Rescue Service who will carry out an assessment of the building. If you’ve never had one before, here’s what you can expect from a fire safety inspection, should an inspector come calling.

Know the Role of a Fire Inspector

Job descriptions and titles tend to differ depending on which Fire & Rescue Service they belong to but you’ll often hear them described as fire safety inspectors or fire safety enforcement officers. They are usually experienced fire fighters with an additional understanding of building construction and their role is to enforce fire safety law. A fire safety inspector has the right to enter any workplace at any reasonable hour, without giving notice. Although notice may be given where the inspector thinks it is appropriate.

A fire safety inspector will check out the workplace, the activities undertaken there and your management of fire safety. They’ll also audit your fire risk assessment to ensure that you’re complying with fire safety law. If a breach of fire safety legislation is found, a fire safety inspector can take action in several ways. They might deal with minor matters informally, offering help and advice. For more serious non-compliance, they can issue formal notices or take measures to enforce the law there and then.

Notices for serious breaches can restrict or prohibit use of the workplace until such time as the improvements or changes required have been carried out, or, in the worst cases, initiate prosecution if you have failed to comply with fire safety legislation.

Given that it could happen at any time, it’s important to make sure that you can access the relevant paperwork and have the answers to the questions they’re likely to ask.

Someone in your company must be the ‘Responsible Person’. For most companies, this will be the employer or any other person who may have control of fire safety. Ensure the Responsible Person is competent and has carried out a Fire Risk Assessment of your business premises.

Know Fire Risk Assessment Inclusions

As the name suggests, a fire risk assessment is an assessment of the risks from fire and involves a process that takes reasonable steps to remove or reduce any risks. These includes identifying the fire hazards and people at risks. You should also evaluate remove or reduce the risks, record your findings and prepare an emergency plan with training. It is also important to review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

In order to better comply with the fire safety protection and compliance, consult Key Compliance. We will ensure that your commercial property is completely compliant with all NSW fire safety regulations.