Health and Safety Standards for Places of Assembly, Shops and Commercial Premises


Management of the premises

Suitable and sufficient precautions should be taken for securing the health and safety of persons in and about the premises. Overcrowding should not be permitted in any part of the premises.

Arrangements at the premises

The arrangements, fittings, apparatus, facilities and ventilation at the premises should be maintained in good condition and full working order. No alterations, including temporary alterations, should be made without the prior written consent of the council.

Fire safety and means of escape

Good management of fire safety is essential to ensure that fires are unlikely to occur; that if they do occur they are likely to be controlled or contained quickly, effectively and safely; or that, if a fire does occur and grow, everyone in the premises is able to escape to a place of total safety easily and quickly.

Fire safety equipment should be routinely maintained, tested and kept in efficient working order.

Self-closing fire doors should be maintained effectively self-closing and should not be held open other than by approved automatic release mechanisms. Fire doors to cupboards, storerooms and service ducts should be kept locked shut.

Exits and exit routes, including external exit routes, should be unobstructed, immediately available for use and clearly indicated with pictogram exit signs in accordance with the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations.

Exit doors should be free from fastenings at all material times other than fastenings that can be readily operated in an emergency without having to use two hands, keys, cards, codes or similar means.

Exit doors intended for use by more than 60 persons or the public should be secured with panic bolts or panic latches operated by horizontal push bars in accordance with BS EN 1125.

Lighting including emergency lighting

Lighting to all areas including external exit routes should be maintained in full working order.

Emergency lighting should be tested weekly by energising every luminaire from its battery for a period sufficient to ensure that each lamp is illuminated.

Emergency lighting inspection and battery test certificate should be obtained at least every twelve months from an approved competent person†.

The certificate should confirm that each emergency lighting luminaire has been energised from its battery for the rated duration of the battery and that the battery and installation are in full working order in compliance with BS 5266 – 1 and 7.

Fire alarm system

The fire alarm should be tested weekly using a different call point for each successive test to ensure that the fire alarm audible and visual warning devices are in full working order.

Fire alarm inspection and test certificate should be obtained at least every twelve months from an approved competent person†.

The certificate should confirm that the fire alarm system is in full working order and in compliance with BS 5839 – 1.

Electrical installation

Electrical installation periodic inspection report should be obtained at appropriate intervals (e.g. five years or lesser time specified on the periodic inspection report) from an approved competent person†.

The report should confirm that the electrical installation is in safe working order in compliance with BS7671.

Fire fighting appliances

Portable fire fighting appliances should be inspected weekly to ensure that fire fighting appliances are in their correct locations and have not been damaged, discharged, or suffered a loss of pressure.

Fire fighting appliances inspection and service certificate should be obtained every twelve months from an organisation certified by the British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE). The certificate should confirm that the fire fighting appliances have been serviced in compliance with BS 5306 – 3.

Gas installation and appliances

A gas safety certificate for gas boilers, gas installations and appliances should be obtained every twelve months from a member of the Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI). The certificate should confirm that the gas installations and appliances are in safe working order in compliance with the Gas Safety Regulations.

Fabrics and furnishings including artificial foliage

Materials used in finishing and furnishing, should as far as is reasonably practicable, be selected so as to be difficult to ignite and provide a low surface spread of flame and low rates of heat release and smoke emission.

Fabrics, curtains, drapes and similar features should either be non-combustible or be of durably or inherently flame-retarded fabric.

Fire and emergency procedures

The Fire Brigade should be called to any outbreak of fire, however slight. Fire action notices appertaining to the premises should be displayed in appropriate locations throughout the premises.

At least twice in each period of twelve months staff should be trained in the health, safety and fire precautions applicable to the premises and the action to be taken in the event of an emergency or evacuation.

Records of maintenance and tests

Records of maintenance, inspection and test certificates should be kept on the premises readily available for examination by authorised persons.

†An approved competent person for the testing and certification of electrical installations, emergency lighting and fire alarms should be one of the following:

(i) A qualified member of the Institution of Electrical Engineering & Technology, or

(ii) A member of the Electrical Contractors Association, or

(iii) A contractor enrolled with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting.

Fire alarms only:

(i) A member of the Loss Prevention Council 1014 Scheme, or

(ii) A member of the British Approvals for Fire Equipment SP203 Scheme.