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Fire Risk in Working Men’s Clubs: What you need to know!

Sep 21, 2021

Coventry and Warwickshire have a large variety of clubs offering social interaction and fun filled nights out. Often clubs provide live entertainment and of course room hire for events from special birthdays to weddings. As pillars of communities, they are a fundamental part of Warwickshire life. There are dozens of sports and social clubs, working men’s clubs, miners and ex-service men’s clubs in our area and it is important that committees understand their duties to protect their patrons and staff from the risk of fire.

For the three years from 2015-2017
• 50% of licensed premises fires were caused by either cooking or smoking
• 44% of fires in restaurants were caused by cooking
As a result of these statistics alone it is obvious that fire risk must be managed.

How to manage fire risk? It starts with a fire risk assessment….
All employers have a legal responsibility to protect people from the risk of fire. Often, management committees do not know that they must have an up-to-date fire risk assessment carried out by a competent person. That is, someone with the relevant training and experience to be able to identify fire hazards and to understand what should be done to mitigate these risks. It is advisable to have a qualified fire risk assessor carry out this work for you. When JCH Safety carry out a fire risk assessment we always inspect the site, review relevant fire safety documentation, and carry out a fire safety audit of the premises.

Why have a fire risk assessment?
• It is required by law
• There were 151,086 fires in the year ending March 2021
• There were 240 fire related deaths in the year ending March 2021.
• Fire is a major risk to life and property.
• Insurers expect it.

What is involved in a fire risk assessment?
A fire risk assessment involves a detailed, methodical assessment of the risk of fire to life. A fire risk assessor visits site and carries out a detailed, prescribed assessment of all the foreseeable fire risks faced by your premises. Usually, a working men’s club fire risk assessment will take about a day to carry out. Depending on the size, age and condition of the premises, will impact on how long it will take to do. From our experience, we normally spend half a day inspecting the club and then up to a day writing up the report. The final outcome is a detailed report and a specific fire risk assessment.

What are the risks?
Working men’s clubs have a variety of fire hazards including electricity, gas, heating, smoking, arson, and cooking to mention just a proportion of the fire risks. It is important that these hazards are correctly assessed and managed. This is where the experience of the trained fire risk assessor really is valuable.

The fire risk assessment should consider the condition of the electrical installation. This includes a review of the five-year fixed wiring inspection documentation and a visual check of the system including sockets, lighting, and the electrical intake cupboard/ switch rooms. The risk of fire from portable electrical appliances should be considered. The fire risk from the method of heating the club should be considered as sources of heat are obviously a risk of fire. A fire risk assessment will consider the service history, the condition of the boiler room and how the pipes penetrate through walls in the building. A competent fire risk assessor will consider the general condition of the building, the wall linings and the condition of the floors and ceilings. There is a lot to be reviewed by the assessor! As part of the process, the fire risk assessor will consider if your automatic fire detection is likely to be suitable, if you have adequate provision of fire extinguishers and also the plan to evacuate the building.

Often, clubs have people who live on site whether that be the steward or manager and their families. The risk to their life from fire must be considered. If a fire broke out in the club, how would they know and could they get out? Evacuation plans are really important to ensure that people can get out safely. Many clubs have older members and people with disabilities who need to be considered and of course, due to alcohol, this can cause issues to. It is vital that all people are able to safely evacuate.
If you don’t have a fire risk assessment in place, we would strongly recommend you get in touch.

What is JCH Safety’s Experience?
JCH Safety carry out fire risk assessments for lots of organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire. We work for clubs, schools, factories, construction firms, churches, community centres, the Scouts, and the hospitality sector. We regularly carry out fire risk assessments for pubs and clubs, so we are familiar with risks in these environments. We work for sports and social clubs, miners’ clubs, and private members clubs. You will be pleased to know that we are qualified, competent, and insured. We always provide evidence of our qualifications and insurance.

What does it cost?
JCH Safety publish our prices for our clients. There are no hidden fees. As qualified, experienced assessors we are proud of the competitive costs for our services. We provide immense value for money as our services help to protect the most important thing there is, life! Current charges and more information on our fire risk assessment services can be found here