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Thu 1st Jul 2010

Government Department for Fire Safety Chastised for Not Following Own Fire Safety Rules

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) created legislation that is meant to ensure that landlords and those responsible for property carry out fire risk assessments. The purpose of these assessments is to ensure the safety of staff, buildings and any person or place in the vicinity. However it has emerged that the DCLG failed to follow its own rules at the Whitehall base in the centre of London.

The regulations came into affect in October 2006 and replaced the previous fire certificate scheme. The new regulations were intended to put more onus for fire safety on the owners of properties or the persons responsible for them. The DCLG's failure to conform to its own regulations has been an embarrassment to ministers. No public apology was received for the transgression and the DCLG decided not to mention the issue on their website! Representatives for the fire service were not impressed by the lack of fire risk assessment from the part of government responsible for fire safety.

They used the opportunity to remind the public, particularly businesses and employers about the need for stringent fire safety precautions. The most important thing to do is to appoint at least one person to take responsibility for fire safety. These persons should then go on a fire marshall course or a fire safety course in order to maximise their efficiency. The government lay out a number of practices that will help to improve the performance of fire marshals. They have a five step plan that aims to simplify the process of creating a safe working environment.

  1. Recognising fire hazards consideration of how fires could start and what could burn.
  2. The people at risk everyone is at risk in a fire but there may be people who are particularly at risk including visitors, children or temporary staff.

  3. Evaluate and Act Look at what you have found in the first two steps and work out how to minimise the risks

  4. Record, Plan and Train Keep a record of fire hazards and how you overcame them. Plan how to stop fires occurring and train the staff to know what to do in the event of a fire.

  5. Review Regularly review your reports and make sure that you factor in changes.


Adhering to these procedures will help to create a safe work place. The best way to learn about fire safety is to go on a specialised training courses that is tailored to your business. Here at Courses Plus we have many different fire safety courses listed, from bespoke fire training courses to fire marshall courses for both large and small organisations.