It will be replaced with a single risk assessment-based approach. The new regs will apply in England and Wales with Scotland and Northern Ireland following shortly after with their own versions.
Jag Sanghera first heard about this via his landlord's property company, which employs a legal eagle and which took the worst case scenario. Jag was told that he needed fire extinguishers, safety blankets, professional risk assessments, signs all over the shop, emergency lighting and so on, all sounding like thousands of pounds.
But it's really not that bad. Of course, you need extinguishers. As far as risk assessment is concerned (required for all premises where there are five or more people employed) you can do it yourself. It is common sense and contained in a five-point plan downloadable from http://www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw/ Briefly, the five points are: identifying hazards; working out who may be at risk; reducing/removing risk; keeping records; and reviewing.
The guidelines contained therein are 145 pages long and, yes, I have scanned them all. A few points that I thought worthwhile are as follows:
- In a small shop with easily identifiable exits, all you need to do is shout 'Fire!'
- It may be that no exit signs are required if it is blindingly obvious and staff are on hand to point the way.
- If street lighting is sufficient, you will not need expensive emergency lighting as people can see the way out.
Yes, do the daily, weekly, monthly, yearly checks. A lot of them are just sensible: for example, daily check - do the doors all open okay? It's not rocket science.
Although the fire certificate will be no more, there will still be regular checks from the local fire and rescue service.