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Beach Cafe fined for failure to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment

Posted: 25/10/2012 18:25

The owner of the Beach Break cafe in East Sussex was fined recently for failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.

The owner of the Beach Break Cafe in East Sussex was fined recently for failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.

In addition the owner failed to take measures to ensure the premises were safe from fire, failed to provide an appropriate fire alarm system and failed to provide suitable emergency lighting. 

Furthermore on inspection by the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the travel distances exceeded the maximum distance permitted.

The owner received a fine of £21,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

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Passive Fire Precautions (i)

Posted: 17/10/2012 10:21

  • Fire Doors
  • Smoke Seals
  • Glazed Door Panels
  • Self-closing Devices

Be clear which doors are fire doors, as these need to be kept shut, unless they are fitted with automatic self-closing devices linked to the fire alarm system. 

Most fire doors are fitted with a simple self closing device, and any glazing incorporated will be fire resisting. Fire doors should always have smoke seals fitted along their top and side edges.

In most places of work fire doors will be labelled 'Fire Door - Keep Shut' . However fire doors leading to cupboards, storerooms or plant rooms are usually kept locked, and should be labelled with a sign to this effect.

Fire doors are important because they hold back fire and smoke, and are designed to protect means of escape such as corridors and stairways. They also prevent fire spreading rapidly...

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Active Fire Precautions (iii)

Posted: 15/10/2012 15:04

  • Fire-Fighting Equipment
  • Fire Suppression Systems
Get to know exactly what fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment you have on the premises, and what kinds of fire they can safely be used on. Lift extinguishers off the wall occasionally to get the feel of them, but be prepared for the weight of the larger ones. Extinguishers should be fitted with both a safety pin and an anti-tamper seal - if the seal is found to be broken it must be reported immediately.

Hose reels are provided in some buildings to supplement (or occasionally to take the place of) fire extinguishers. However, injury or damage can easily be caused by incorrect use of hose reels, and common advice nowadays is to leave these for the fire brigades use only.

As well as portable equipment, there may be sprinklers or other suppression systems (gaseous, powder or water mist) protecting the whole of your premises, or perhaps certain areas...

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Active Fire Precautions (ii)

Posted: 15/10/2012 14:33

  • Emergency Lighting
  • Illuminated Exit Signs

Emergency lighting allows people to escape from the premises in the event of a fire or other emergency, even if this coincides with a failure of the normal lighting system (this is not uncommon, as a large percentage of fires are caused by electrical faults).

The lighting units are designed to come on when the power fails, and to stay on for a period of between one and three hours using an internal battery or other secondary electrical supply. They often take the form of illuminated Fire Exits signs, but can also be seen as additional lighting units on the walls or ceiling of an escape route, or even fully integrated into the normal room or other lighting of a building - a certain percentage of bulbs or fluorescent tubes being provided with this backup. The red glow of a small LED light is often, though not always, an indication of emergency lighting.

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Active Fire Precautions (i)

Posted: 15/10/2012 11:07

  • Fire Alarm & Detection:
  • Call Points
  • Smoke Detectors and Heat Detectors
  • Automatic Door Closers
  • Automatic Call-Out Systems
Identify the fire alarm call points and be sure you would always go to the nearest one if you  need to raise the alarm. Your fire alarm system may also include smoke detection or - in locations susceptible to steam, cooking fumes or dust - heat detectors. In some premises fire alarm actuation triggers the closing of automatic fire doors, normally held open.

Most modern systems are controlled by a fire alarm indicator panel, which should identify the source of any alarm (or at least the zone in which it was activated) and provide the means for silencing or resetting the system. This should only be done by an authorised person, in accordance with the fire routine for your premises.

Some fire alarms are connected to a system that...

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