In the world of funeral services, where compassion and professionalism intersect, there's a vital aspect that deserves careful consideration: fire safety. There have been recent updates to fire safety regulations for domestic properties on 1st October 2023 and our Funeral Director Insurance team wanted to highlight the significance of funeral directors being well-versed in their duties and obligations within a business.
What are the key changes introduced by the Fire Safety Act?
In the wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017, the UK government undertook a comprehensive review of fire safety legislation, leading to the enactment of the Fire Safety Act 2021. This marked the first significant change to fire safety laws in England and Wales since the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in October 2006.
The implementation of the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 brings forth updated responsibilities for Responsible Persons. These regulations were added to align with the objectives of both the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Fire Safety Order 2005. This was to specifically target residential premises with two or more sets of domestic premises, these regulations introduce additional fire safety requirements. It's important to note that these new requirements officially came into effect on January 23, 2023.
What is required from Responsible Persons?
The obligation to adhere to the Fire Safety Regulation lies with the 'Responsible Person,' who, in a workplace setting, refers to the employer or the individual exercising control over the premises. Every business and commercial premises will have a ‘Responsible Person’.
Understanding Your Duties
To assist you in navigating these regulations, Ecclesiastical Insurance has developed a comprehensive guide that includes a Fire Risk Assessment Prioritisation Tool. This tool is designed to help prioritise the review of fire risk assessments, ensuring that your premises meet the necessary standards.
Key Considerations for You as a Funeral Director:
- Review and Update Fire Risk Assessments:
Utilise the Govnerment's prioritisation tool to strategise the review of fire risk assessments promptly.
- Information for Employees and Clients:
Clearly communicate fire safety instructions to staff and provide information to clients, especially in communal areas.
- Regular Fire Door Checks:
Undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors, ensuring they provide adequate protection in common areas.
- Secure Information Box Installation:
Install a secure information box with essential contact details and building plans for firefighting equipment.
- Floor and Building Plans:
Provide up-to-date floor plans to local fire and rescue services, aiding quick decision-making during incidents.
- Monthly Checks of Lifts and Firefighting Equipment:
Undertake additional monthly checks of lifts and key firefighting equipment, ensuring prompt reporting and resolution of issues.
- Wayfinding Signage:
Install wayfinding signage in high-rise buildings, aiding the Fire and Rescue Service in navigating during incidents.
Next Steps for Funeral Directors
For specific advice, consult a competent fire safety advisor or Local Fire & Rescue Service.
In the pursuit of safety and compliance, we encourage you to utilise the provided guide, ensuring that funeral services are conducted in an environment that prioritizes the well-being of all involved.
For more information on the Fire Safety Regulations and to access the guide, visit Ecclesiastical's official guidance here.