CHURCHES have a week to draw up risk assessments in case of fire, say nefire regulations, which are due to take effect on 1 October. But thregulations spare most churches from the need to put up an illuminated exisign or install a fire-alarm bell.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 puts a legal obligation on "responsible person", usually the churchwarden, to make sure anyone could geout quickly in an emergency. A risk assessment is necessary to spell oudangers to the congregation and to work out escape routes. New risk assessmentwere needed under the new law.
The Government has issued guidance that can be applied to churche Fire Safety: Risk assessment for small and medium places of assembly.
A spokesman for the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group said it would be in toucwith churches to make sure they understood the new regulation
Free guides are available from: www.firesafetyguides.communities.gov.uk and www.churchsafety.org.uk. church safety offers a pack from po box 94, abergavenny, np7 0wz.