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Fire safety policy for small businesses

3-minute read

Catriona Smith

17 February 2022

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All businesses should have a fire safety policy to reduce the risks and ultimately keep you, your employees, and any contractors safe on site. Here’s what should go in one, and a free fire safety policy template for your business.

Whether you’re a sole trader or a business with employees, this policy will need to grow with you.

Download your free fire safety policy template

Fire safety policy template – free Word download

Choose to download your template now, or get it directly from Farillio’s site where you’ll also get access to their full suite of customisable legal templates.

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This document has been produced by Farillio so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We'd recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.

What is a fire safety policy?

A fire safety policy is a document shared with all employees, and anyone else working for you, to outline potential dangers, how to avoid risks, and what to do if a fire breaks out.

You should also make sure that any staff and contractors are aware of the policy and that everyone is expected to comply with it.

Who’s responsible for the fire safety policy?

Legally you’re required to have a ‘responsible person’ within your business who’ll be liable for compliance under the legislation. They should be someone employed by the business, and not an external consultant or supplier. If you’re a sole trader, then this responsibility will fall to you.

Areas of responsibility include:

  • developing and maintaining a fire safety plan
  • making sure your premises is a safe place to work for staff and visitors
  • regularly carrying out staff training on fire safety
  • completing a fire safety risk assessment and keeping it up to date
  • making sure staff know the emergency evacuation plan

What should be included in a fire safety policy?

Your fire safety policy should include how to reduce risks and report any hazards, as well as documenting a clear evacuation plan.

Here’s an idea of what an evacuation plan should show:

  • a clear passageway to all escape routes
  • clearly marked escape routes
  • emergency lighting
  • training for all employees
  • a safe meeting point for staff

You might also want to mention things like whether you have a paperless office or a clear desk policy.

Your policy should also outline how you’ll manage instances of people not complying.

The government website has more information on building a fire safety plan, including an idea of the sort of things you’ll want to include.

Any fire safety plan must prioritise evacuating people safely over protecting or rescuing equipment or other items, in the event of a fire.

Appointing a fire marshal

You might choose to appoint a fire marshal to carry out certain responsibilities, such as:

  • checking exits are clear and usable each working day
  • making sure fire fighting equipment is in the right place
  • completing the fire risk assessment
  • checking and testing the fire alarm

Your fire marshal should also go on a fire safety course.

It’s important to note however, overall responsibility for fire safety is always with the employer and not your fire marshal.

How to use our fire safety policy template UK download

Our fire safety policy template, brought to you in collaboration with our partner Farillio, is an editable letter agreement in Microsoft Word format.

It’s ready to use for your business, although there are some areas where you might want to edit the wording. For example, we’ve listed typical fire marshal duties but you may wish to change these to suit your business needs and activities. Or in the section about potential fire hazards, you might wish to highlight specific hazards to your business environment if they’re not covered in this template.

Although some aspects of this policy might not seem that immediately relevant to your business, if, for example, you're a sole director with no employees and therefore no managers – this policy will need to grow with your business.

Rather than having to keep updating it, we recommend that you maintain this wording to cover your position and to provide you with the right guidance as you grow.

What does this fire safety policy include?

This fire safety policy UK template includes:

  • what’s covered and who it applies to
  • consequences of non-compliance
  • name and duties of ‘responsible person’
  • potential fire hazards and how to report them
  • responsibilities of the fire marshal
  • responsibilities and duties of employees

Why use a Farillio legal template?

Farillio is a business resource website that offers customisable, downloadable legal documents for small businesses.

Small businesses have legal responsibilities, but often don’t have the resources for an in-house legal team. Farillio’s resources are designed to help you plug that gap.

Have a look at more free guides designed in partnership with Farillio:

Do you have any questions about our fire safety policy UK template? Let us know in the comments.

Photograph 1: SYCprod/stock.adobe.com

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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