Partners in raising fire safety awareness – Keybury’s David Lalor, left, and Steve Pepper.

Two leading authorities in fire safety provision and training are pooling their expertise to stage a series of free workshops aimed at extinguishing the confusion and complexities surrounding fire risk assessments, now a legal requirement for all businesses.

They are being run by Keybury Fire & Security and its specialist fire risk assessment arm Fire Key – the firm has offices in Keighley, Skipton, Ilkley, Harrogate and York – and Harrogate-based fire safety training company Steve Pepper Training Associates.

The first workshop is at Cold Cotes events centre at Felliscliffe, Harrogate, on Tuesday, July 19. Registration is from 9am.

All are aimed at business owners, senior health and safety personnel, HR managers and training budget holders.

Keybury and Fire Key director Dave Lalor’s seminar is geared to equip firms with the tools to ensure their businesses are – and stay – on the right side of the law, followed by fire extinguisher training, another legal requirement. Steve Pepper’s fire safety awareness presentation will help relevant personnel understand their roles and responsibilities.

Mr Lalor explained: “The Fire Safety Order requires that commercial premises must carry out a fire risk assessment to determine not only the risk to their own people from fire, but also that measures are taken to keep all people safe from fire while on their premises.

“In easily manageable premises, it is quite likely and practical that the owner or duty holder carries out the assessment. In more complex buildings, however, it is wise to consider employing a professional consultant.

“In England and Wales, Government guidance suggests that where buildings are more than four storeys high, then the duty holder should seek the advice of a competent person.

“Growing demands on companies to meet the requirements of the new legislation this year saw the creation of The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council, but the simple fact is that many people have not yet grasped what they are they are supposed to be doing.

“In fact, the Fire & Rescue Service has estimated that 60% of UK businesses are failing current fire safety legislation and have warned that they intend to bring the full weight of the law to bear upon them. Companies are forewarned and the workshops are designed to redress the imbalance.”