It would be reasonable to consider that the risk from fire must have been significant in order to justify a sign of such gigantic proportions however, I failed to see the risk when stood in the middle of a large field. This huge fire exit sign was attached to some Herras fencing near to the car park at a UK festival. A fire exit door is considered the final exit door which opens into a place of safety outside of the premises and I for one am content with this definition. Let us not start to spoil the great outdoors with giant illuminated fire exit signs attached to every fence, tree or farm animal.
 
In all seriousness the requirements of the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 can have significant financial impact, particularly in the holiday park industry where signage is often multiplied across a number of lodges or caravans. Simple misinterpretation of the legislation or guidance can see the installation of a number of unnecessary signs which can have significant financial impact; not to mention the fact that they can be quite unsightly.
 
When selecting a fire risk assessor, it is important to consider their competence but also their understanding and sympathy towards your organisation and industry. It may sound very exciting to employ the ex-Health and Safety Advisor to NASA but I would hate to imagine what their Risk Assessments would look like!
At PDT Safety we specialise in all aspects of safety for customer facing organisations. We have first-hand experience of hospitality, leisure and retail allowing us to provide sensible safety solutions, putting your customers first.
 
We speak to Peter Thomas, Managing Director of PDT Safety on the importance of selecting a suitable fire risk assessor with industry knowledge…
 
“I am often asked how much I charge for a fire risk assessment [FRA]. Now, you may think you are about to read a scare story about the cost of not having an FRA. But no. In fact, I want to tell you about when I made the mistake of picking the wrong assessor in the past…
 
The term ‘competence’ is often banded around when it comes to FRA. However, the truth is that it is equally important to have someone who understands the hazards associated with your industry. A lesson I painfully learned many years ago when I negotiated a contract for a national lodge park operator. Pleased with my shrewd deal, I allowed a highly qualified assessor to commence his contract and I ended up with the most in depth assessment I had ever seen. The list of ‘significant findings’ had left no stone unturned and would have required tens of thousands of pounds to rectify. Worse still, there was no flexibility on the length of time allocated to address the issues; everything must be done immediately!
 
I protested that it isn’t that easy to rebuild an entire complex building, only to be threatened with the Fire Authority… you get the picture.
 
So when I’m asked “how much do you charge for a fire risk assessment?” I can only assure you that you will get a thorough product at a reasonable price and one which draws upon my experience in the industry to provide common sense and achievable solutions to fire safety.”