There are legal requirements to ensure fire escape provisions remain compliant. If you run a public building, whether as the owner or the facilities manager, then it’s essential to keep on top of these requirements and observe the letter of the law.
The key regulations are found in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and the BS 8219:2012, the British Standard Guide to Building Maintenance Management.
We’ve condensed down the key lessons from both to help you tackle your fire safety survey.
What is a fire escape survey?
Fire escape surveys are designed to help provide the safety and security of your premises. This is vital in domestic settings but becomes even more complex when pertaining to public or commercial spaces.
These surveys assess all aspects relating to escape from a potential fire to ensure each – including staircases, ladders, and fire escape facilities – are kept in good working order and ready to go if they are needed.
What does the law say?
The legal provisions are clear, to help you navigate the legal and practical aspects of fire safety.
Key things to note include:
- Safe routes must exist
A key element of the legislation dictates that emergency routes need to exist within the property. They should lead as quickly as possible to a place of safety, making it essential that they are safely maintained.
- Clearly indicate emergency routes and exits
This will ensure people in the building can find their way out in the event of a fire. Indications should be made with signs, though some may require emergency lights. This lighting should be of the appropriate intensity to help provide a clear route should the original lighting fail.
- No sliding or revolving doors
These are not considered valid routes for a fire escape, and would not pass a fire escape survey.
- Clear rules on emergency doors
Emergency doors should open in the direction of the escape route, rather than inwardly. This helps add an extra layer of safety.
Rules on the number of escape routes
The number of escape routes required (and their exact dimensions) vary depending on the type of building and its use. The exact number of people who are on-site at any given time will also influence this number.
These laws and guidelines are in place to keep everyone safe. By following them you can not only stay within the legal framework, but ensure the optimal provisions for everyone in the building.
Our experienced engineers can carry out your fire escape survey to ensure compliance. Contact us to find out more.