Health & Safety Experts Alistair Bromhead Ltd Issue Advice on Dealing with the Risk of Fire

In the UK, the risk of fire in non-domestic premises must be properly assessed and mitigated as much as possible, following government and fire service guidelines on the precautions needed.
ASHTEAD, U.K. - July 24, 2014 - PRLog -- A really important aspect is the means of escape from every area of commercial premises, which must be identified and kept free from obstacles.

All personnel, whether staff members, business visitors or members of the public, on floors above ground must be facilitated to leave the building, especially those who are disabled or have mobility problems.

The High Cost of Non-Compliance

Dr Alistair Bromhead is well known as an expert in the health and safety sector. He has noticed that non-compliance with fire regulations has been attracting some heavy penalties in recent months.

In January 2014, financial penalties for non-compliance include a £24,000 fine imposed on the owner of a private school with student accommodation above ground level. Another fine levied that month was £40,000 after a warehouse fire operation involved 20 fire engines and 100 fire fighters. Additional court costs also hit significant five figure numbers. In December 2013, court costs of nearly £70,000 were required from a landlord who was given a suspended sentence and community service order after a fire left elderly residents trapped upstairs and having to be rescued by the emergency services.

Legal Responsibilities

Alistair Bromhead (see his credentials at explains that under the Equality Act 2010, companies have a duty to allow people of all abilities onto their premises. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, they also have a duty to get people out of the building in the event of a fire. If less able bodied people are on the first or higher floors, they can be transferred into evacuation chairs and safely brought down to ground level. The chairs typically work like a wheelchair on angled skis, incorporating a rubber belt and braking mechanism to slow the descent.

Getting Disabled People Out

Evacuation chairs should be kept close to all stairways, and maintained in good working order. For each of these chairs there must also be at least one member of staff available who has a responsibility to operate the chairs when needed. That means they must be trained to do so, and the training must be reinforced regularly. This is because the need to use evacuation chairs occurs rarely, so skills in their use can be lost and appropriate techniques forgotten.

Dr Alistair Bromhead Ltd is a recognised provider of quality training courses that include a half day on Evacuation Chair Training. This covers the siting and distribution of chairs and their multiple uses, as well as the deployment and handling of the chair and its passenger. For those organisations wishing to set up an in-house training facility, the IOSH Evacuation Chair Train the Trainer course equips them with their own instructors, saving on costs whenever staff training is required. For details of the courses go to, and click on the course name.

No organisation should risk a fire or non-compliance with fire safety regulations. Getting the training aspects covered means there is one fewer element to be concerned about.

Alistair Bromhead
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