A survey has revealed that at least 60 per cent of people responsible for the fire safety of their property believe they could be doing more to ensure that the building is fire safe.
JLA’s 2021 Fire Safety Accountability Report shows that 10 per cent of respondents do not know how to perform a fire risk assessment, despite being responsible for the job. The same percentage of respondents also admit to having no knowledge of the new fire safety bill, while the remaining admit to having only a little knowledge of it.
The new bill is expected to come into effect next month. It amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, representing the biggest change in building safety “for a generation” and it aims to provide clarity over all the fire safety risks that respective building owners and managers are responsible for assessing, such as cladding, internal/external walls and fire doors.
The survey – which canvassed more than 500 respondents who are responsible for ensuring that their building/workplace is a fire-safe environment – also reveals that 13.5 per cent of respondents think it should be ‘doing more’ in terms of ensuring their respective property is fire-secure.
The main reasons given by respondents not “doing more” to ensure their respective building is fire safe are a lack of budget (18 per cent), added stress (18 per cent) and lack of time (15 per cent).
Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents also admitted that they do not train all staff on fire safety, while 12 per cent do not offer any form of fire safety training to employees at all. Surprisingly, almost a fifth of respondents also admit to turning to social media for fire safety guidance.
Rob Harris, managing director of JLA Fire, said: “While it’s enlightening to see that some demographics have a satisfactory awareness of reducing fire risk, it is concerning that a large proportion of those surveyed are unaware of fire safety procedures, and believe they could be doing more to protect those around them.
“Budget constraints or added stress – or indeed the coronavirus crisis – are not adequate reasons to avoid rectifying this awareness, as the potential damage a fire could cause would have far more costly implications on a business's reputation and finances.
“By identifying the gaps in people’s knowledge and fire safety procedures, we know the areas that need significant improvement and we urge employers and fire safety employees to conduct widespread training, equipment checks and procedural updates as a priority.”