FIRE SAFETY POLICY

FIRE SAFETY POLICY

Hampton Park URC,

Introduction.

It is a requirement of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 for the ‘responsible person’ to undertake certain duties to protect ‘relevant persons’ in case of fire at the premises.

The Minister has the role as overall ‘responsible person’: responsibilities are delegated to Church Elders, leaders of activities, (e.g. community groups and hirers) as appropriate.

Compliance.

To ensure compliance with these regulations the Minister shall ensure that:

• A Fire Risk Assessment shall be undertaken by a competent person and its findings communicated to the Church Meeting via the Elder’s meeting.

• The Fire Risk Assessment shall be reviewed on an annual basis.

• A fire evacuation procedure shall be communicated to all Church Elder’s and leaders of church activities.

• Information shall be given to contractors regarding fire risks and procedures.

• A Fire Emergency Plan is documented and available within the premises.

• Fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, emergency routes, exits and signage shall be regularly serviced, maintained and sited at appropriate locations.

• Regular inspections shall take place, at least half yearly, to identify and remedy any fire safety deficiencies.

• Regular inspections shall be made, at least half yearly, to ensure that the risk of arson is managed and controlled.

• Fire Alarm and emergency lighting tests shall be regularly undertaken by a competent person.

• Evacuation drills shall be carried out annually to test the effectiveness of current procedures and to highlight any deficiencies which need attention.

• Church Elder’s (or other nominated persons) shall carry out Fire Steward duties for church activities. They shall receive information and instruction to fulfil this role. Refresher instruction shall be given at regular intervals.

• A Fire Log Book shall be kept containing the Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Emergency Plan, records of evacuation drills, test and maintenance records for all fire extinguishers, fire alarms and emergency lighting.

• Evidence shall be maintained and can be given in the event of a request from an enforcing authority to demonstrate that fire safety responsibilities are effectively managed.

Other general fire safety measures shall be adhered to; these include ensuring that:

• Minimal amounts of flammable substances shall be kept on site in a locked location.

• The whole site is designated as “non-smoking”; this includes the use of electronic and e-cigarettes (vaping).

• Emergency exit routes and doors shall be kept clear at all times.

• Appropriate final exit doors in that part of the premises in use are unlocked during occupation and are locked at the end of use.

• Room occupancy – maximum number of persons (See Appendix A):

Church Sanctuary & Main Hall – 200 persons

Committee Room – 26 persons

Small Hall – 200 persons

Vestry – 28 persons

• Seating – minimum gap between rows shall be 305mm.

• minimum gangway width in the church shall be 1050mm.

• maximum of 14 seats in a row with a gangway at end and one in the centre.

• maximum of 7 seats in a row with a gangway at one end only.

• Electrical wiring and equipment shall be tested as detailed in the maintenance programme.

• All furniture and furnishings shall comply with current legislation relating to their fire retardant properties.

• Portable heaters shall not be introduced to the premises (unless of the oil-filled type).

• No electrical appliance shall be brought onto the premises unless covered by a current Portable Appliance Test certificate.

• A competent person shall conduct maintenance and checks on fire extinguishers and fire protection equipment. These shall be conducted within the time frame required and recorded. Certificates shall be obtained and kept in the Fire Log Book.

• Checks and maintenance shall be carried out on the fire alarms and emergency lighting as identified by statutory requirements.

Records will be kept in the Fire Log Book.

• A review of training in the use of fire fighting equipment and for Fire Wardens will be conducted on a regular basis.

• Clear and consistent evacuation notices shall be displayed within the building.

• The Fire Service shall be informed of every fire outbreak even if it has been extinguished. The event will be investigated and a report retained, even if it is a false alarm.

Notes (see also Appendix A)

Room occupancy levels are calculated in relation to the number of persons that can be evacuated effectively, taking into account the size and position of the emergency exits.

  1. Church Sanctuary & Main Hall: In special circumstances (e.g. rites of passage)the ideal capacity may be exceeded. If this is anticipated then a risk assessment shall be carried out and additional precautions taken (e.g. extra Fire Wardens).
  2. Side Hall: In special circumstances (e.g. rites of passage)the ideal capacity may be exceeded. If this is anticipated then a risk assessment shall be carried out and additional precautions taken (e. g. no additional seating, buffet style refreshments, extra Fire Wardens).

Emergency exit routes must be kept clear at all times.

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Appendix A

Escape route capacity

Committee Room.

  • Assembly capacity = (3.50×3.70 m)/ 0.5 = 26 persons max
  • Fire Escape capacity = door width 750mm = 100 persons

Kitchen.

  • Assembly capacity = (2.40×3.80 m)/ 0.5 = 15 persons max
  • Fire escape capacity = door width 750mm = 100 persons

Vestry.

  • Assembly capacity = (3.75×3.75 m)/.05 = 28 persons max
  • Fire Escape capacity = door width 750mm = 100 persons

Vestry Fire Exit.

  • Fire door width = 800mm = 100 persons

Small Hall.

  • Assembly capacity = (6.20×13.30 m)/0.5 = 164 persons max
  • Seated capacity = (6.20×13.30 m)/1.0 = 82 persons max
  • Fire Escape capacity:
    • Fire door width = 900mm = 100 persons
    • Foyer door width = 1500mm = 290 persons
    • Vestry door width = 750mm = 100 persons
  • SAFE Fire Escape capacity (100+100) = 200 persons

Church Sanctuary and Main Hall.

  • Assembly capacity = (10.0×17.50 m)/0.5 = 350 persons max
  • Seated capacity = (10.0×17.50 m)/1.0 =175 persons max
  • Fire Escape capacity:
    • Foyer door width = 1650mm = 320 persons
    • Small Hall door width = 800mm = 100 persons
    • Top Sanctuary door width = 750mm = 100 persons
  • SAFE Fire escape capacity (100+100) = 200 persons

Seating & Gangways.

All seating should be arranged to allow free and ready access direct to the exits. Recommended distances for seating arrangements are:

  • At least 305mm between rows
  • Gangways at least 1050mm wide
  • Ideally, no seat more than seven seats away from a gangway.

The above calculations are based upon the CLG guide for Fire Safety Risk Assessment in small and Medium Places of Assembly under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-safety-advice-documents and www.hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/documents-and-downloads and Building Approved Documents B (ADB).

The information available and used is a simple methodology to assist in arriving at safe occupancy level for the premises. It is noted that there are alternative methods of a more professional nature.

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