Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to safeguarding businesses and the people involved with them in our local communities, by offering advice and guidance as well as enforcing fire safety legislation.
If you are involved in a local business in any capacity you will find general information here on this page and more detailed information specific to the business category under one of the headings in the menu on the left.
Fire Risk Assessment Pro Formas
Finding and Choosing a Competent Fire Risk Assessor
If you feel that your premises are too complex or that you are not suitably competent to carry out your own fire risk assessment, you may want to employ a qualified risk assessor. A guide to choosing a competent Fire Risk Assessor is available to download here:
Maintenance and Housekeeping
Under the current fire safety legislation, businesses are required to carry out and record a programme of routine inspections, tests and maintenance of all the fire safety features and equipment contained within your premises along with a programme of fire safety training for your staff. To assist in the management of this regime, it is important that you identify and nominate individuals who have specific responsibilities for each aspect of fire safety. We have created a pro forma which may assist you with this.
Fire Safety Management Planning
For the purposes of recording all of your testing, maintenance and inspections and any staff training, we have provided a log book which can be downloaded. You can also print selected pages to supplement any existing log book(s).
Your fire risk assessment should identify the type, number and location of fire extinguishers you may need. You should ensure that if fire extinguishers are available on your premises, that you and your staff are trained in their use. To enquire on the fire extinguisher training available please view our Educate – Training Courses And Events page.
Risk Information Boxes
Risk Information boxes provide simple and usable information needed by operational crews at the time of an incident. The contents should include:
- Simple floor layout plans of the building including access points, firefighting facilities, equipment, utility services cut-off points and any hazards. Schematic fire system plans may also be necessary if your premises is particularly complex.
- Any relevant information relating to equipment and fixed installations such as fire alarms, sprinkler and smoke extraction systems, including basic operating instructions
- Contact names and numbers of the responsible person(s) and any key holders for the site
- Any other information relevant to the site, premises or occupancy
It is preferable that only fire service information is stored in the box and they should be sited approximately one meter from ground level and readily accessible to attending fire crews, inside the primary fire service access points into the building or alongside the fire alarm panel. You will be responsible for keeping the information up to date and this should be reviewed annually as a minimum. Once fitted, you should inform us so that we can add the availability of the Fire Risk Information Box to our mobilising system, where the information will be used in the event of an incident at that premises.
Reducing False Alarms – It’s Your Responsibility
It is clear that too many false alarms can prejudice the safety of occupants, who may not react correctly in a real fire if they have experienced a number of false alarms. Complacency can be a very dangerous thing at the best of times, but complacency that leads to an alarm being ignored simply because it is highly unlikely to be genuine could be quite literally fatal. False alarms will occur from time to time and it is your responsibility to reduce them when they do. When an alarm is activated, it is your duty to investigate the cause of the alarm before calling the fire service. False alarms can be minimised, or avoided entirely, by carrying out such investigations and through good system design, management practice, procedure, maintenance and the appropriate use of space within buildings.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have recently attended a number of incidents in which a fire has occurred in a launderette. Self-heating, also known as spontaneous combustion, has been a major part in these and, in most incidents, has been the cause of the fire starting.
Spontaneous combustion might seem like a strange phenomenon for people to contemplate however, the circumstances that cause this phenomenon are simple and easy to prevent.
It can happen when laundry items, such as chefs’ whites, aprons, tea towels and cloths, are contaminated with organic cooking oils (which can auto-ignite) and dried and stored without allowing sufficient time to cool in the tumble dryer.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have advice available on how to minimise the risk from fires caused by spontaneous combustion at premises such as:
- Launderettes and dry cleaners
- Bed and Breakfasts / Guest Houses
- Public Houses
- Restaurants and cafes
- Residential care premises
Below, you will see a number of tips on what to do and what not to do when using tumble dryers in any of the businesses listed above.
What to do:
- Ensure wash temperatures and detergents are suitable for the optimum removal of oil based contaminants
- Allow laundry to complete the cooling cycle in the tumble dryer
- Shake out laundry to ventilate before folding or place garments on hangers
- Ensure stack or pile is well ventilated
- Clean filters, remove fluff, lint and debris from dryers and keep them regularly maintained
- Test your smoke alarm – only working smoke alarms give an early warning to a developing fire!
What not to do:
- Place warm, damp laundry in polythene bags or plastic containers/baskets or in poorly ventilated areas
- Leave freshly laundered fabrics stacked overnight
- Remove laundry from the tumble dryer before completing the cooling cycle
- Forget to test your smoke alarm – only working smoke alarms give an early warning to a developing fire