Frequently Asked Questions

We get asked lots of questions about a range of subjects. You can search our FAQs, organise them by category or just scroll through!

Search, or browse our FAQs by category

Search

Search

FAQ Categories

FAQ Categories
  • Safety (2)
  • Road Safety (8)
  • Reports and Administration (2)
  • Recruitment (14)
  • Home Safety (3)
  • Fire Safety (22)
  • Emergencies (5)
  • Contact (1)
  • Communities (8)

I have a question about fire safety for my business or commercial premises, who do I contact?

We have extensive guidance and information about fire safety for businesses, commercial and residential properties (where those residential properties are high-rise or multi-occupancy) on our website.

Visit our fire safety page for general guidance, and information or to report a fire safety issue.

Visit our fire risk assessment page for guidance on understanding and completing fire risk assessments for your premises, if you're the responsible person.

For guidance around fire safety in residential properties where Article 24 of the Fire Safety Order (which applies in England) applies, visit our residential fire safety page.

For general hints, tips and links useful to businesses in keeping their premises safe from fire, visit our fire safety resources for businesses page.

 

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

I want to support staff by providing cooking and food warming facilities – what should I put in place to ensure this can be done safely?

Make sure that only appliances designed for this purpose are used.

Camping equipment and BBQs (including disposable ones) should only be used in outdoor spaces appropriate for their use (i.e. not roofs and balconies) and should not be used to heat premises.

Ensure that any changes to the provision of cooking facilities are reflected in the premises’ fire risk assessment.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

Can I permit staff to sleep on my business premises?

We strongly discourage business owners from introducing a sleeping risk to premises by permitting anyone to sleep in a premises that is not designed to provide sleeping accommodation.

Business owners should be mindful to prevent unauthorised sleeping on the premises, such as employees who have not requested permission, or contract cleaning staff.

Further information on fire risk assessments for premises used as sleeping accommodation - which differ from normal commercial premises, can be found on the .gov website.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

What are the requirements for servicing, testing, and maintenance in areas of my premises which are only partly being used?

If your premises is in part use, the responsible person must ensure any fire safety systems for the protection of life are fully checked by a competent person as soon as possible when vacant areas are planned to be brought back into use, and ensure they are tested before occupation.

The routine testing and maintenance of all fire safety measures, to ensure they operate and perform as required in event of a fire, is essential in keeping people safe.  This includes in any areas that may temporarily be out of use as a cost-saving measure.

You should review your premises' fire risk assessment prior to the cessation of testing and maintenance of fire safety systems to ensure this does not cause additional risks.

If any doubt exists as to the purpose of any fire safety system that may not be maintained advice should be sought from a competent person and/or your local fire and rescue service.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

What are the requirements for servicing, testing, and maintenance in areas of my premises which are currently out of use?

It is the responsibility of the responsible person and/or the duty holder to ensure they are testing and maintaining all fire safety measures to maintain safe premises.

If there is no one on, or in the immediate vicinity, of the premises who may be reliant on your fire safety measures (e.g. in accommodation above a premises), the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (as amended by the Fire Safety Act 2021) (FSO) allows a risk-based approach to testing and maintenance.

If doubt exists advice must be sought from a competent person.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

Why should I be cautious of using second-life batteries for vehicles and energy storage applications?

Although second-life batteries, particularly those used in vehicles and energy-storage applications, can be relatively easy to obtain there are concerns that they may not be appropriate for use, particularly where not installed by a competent electrician.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

What steps can I take to prevent energy theft/meter tampering on my business premises?

Business and building owners should be aware of the potential for hotwiring or bypassing electrical and gas supplies undertaken by others. You can find information and resources
on the dedicated Stay Energy Safe campaign website.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

What can residents do to reduce the risk of fire in their residential building?

Following a review of the assessment of risk, responsible persons should make any necessary adjustments and ensure that residents are aware of the risk reduction measures for the premises and the actions they should take in the event of a fire.

Residents should consider the risk of using alternative heating sources and discuss any concerns regarding staying warm etc with their landlord to ensure safe practices are in place. They can contact their responsible person/company/local authority to seek advice on the actions they should take to reduce risk and what to do in the event of a fire in their building.

Residents can also review our safety advice for general home safety tips and may find the National Fire Chief Council's Prevention cost of living toolkit leaflet useful.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

What can responsible persons do to reduce the risk of fire in their residential buildings?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (as amended by the Fire Safety Act 2021) and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (which come into force on 23 January 2023) place a legal requirement upon employers and persons with responsibility for premises, including residential buildings.

These responsibilities and safety measures are designed to protect life regardless of fire service intervention. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that all existing fire safety provisions are in place and effective.

Responsible persons for premises may wish to consider reviewing their fire risk assessment and should check their existing fire precautions are in place and working effectively.

Following a review of the assessment of risk, they should make any necessary adjustments and ensure that, through their resident engagement strategy, residents are aware of the risk reduction measures for the premises and the actions they should take in the event of a fire.

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety

What could power cuts or reduced any supply mean for my fire safety systems?

In case of any power cuts locally and nationally, backup measures must be put in place, as well as checks to ensure fire safety systems have restarted correctly and are operating as they should.

In addition to checking fire safety systems, businesses are encouraged to ensure that other equipment that stops during power cuts restarts safely and does not pose a fire risk when doing so, especially if restarting whilst unsupervised.

This may also affect the use of medical equipment and storage of some medicines (e.g. in care homes, GP surgeries, hospitals, or daycare facilities).

FAQ Category: 
Fire Safety
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram