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fire officers in office building

In the decades following the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the UK has come a long way in regards to health and safety policies. We recognise the importance of making sure lives are being protected wherever possible, and that includes at work.

Businesses have a responsibility to ensure the physical wellbeing and safety of all of their staff, but how far does this stretch? What fire safety procedures are UK offices required to have in place?


Are smoke detectors legally required in UK offices?

Legally, yes, business offices have a legal obligation to ensure that a fire detection system is fitted. There are several people who may be responsible for making sure this system is in place, including the employer, the landlord, or anyone else with control of the premises such as a building manager or risk assessor. They are known as the ‘responsible person’.

The ‘responsible person’ has a number of responsibilities and duties to fulfil. They must carry out regular risk assessments, inform the necessary people about any identified risks, implement fire safety measures, have an emergency plan, and train staff in fire safety instruction (e.g. what to do in the event of a fire).

If an office doesn’t follow these regulations, the parties responsible could be fined, or even go to prison. It is essential that all UK offices are properly equipped with fire detection systems.

To find out more about the legal requirements for fire alarm systems in workplaces, check the UK government web page on workplace fire safety.

Government Workplace Safety


Why install a smoke detector?

Some people like to talk about “health and safety gone mad” and carry on about how the protections that are in place to protect people from harm in the workplace are “excessive” and “unnecessary”, but can these protection systems be considered crazy if they work?

On average, 200 people in the UK die in fires every year. The majority of these deaths occur in the night, when people are asleep. In these situations, a working smoke alarm would have informed the victims of the fire while it was still in its early stages, improving their chances of survival. In fact, if you are in a building with a working fire alarm, you are four times more likely to survive a fire.

Wondering if your building needs smoke detectors? Already have a system that's outdated or potentially non-functional? Reach out to IDS Security today to arrange your free fire protection survey, and make the arrangements to keep yourself and others safe. 

Request a Free Survey

Having a fire detection system in place is considerably safer than not having one, and it is also a legal requirement for a UK offices. 

If your home or business is currently unprotected, take the first step and take a look at the fire alarm services available from IDS Security today.

Fire Alarms

READ MORE: Fire Alarm Requirements for Businesses

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