Licensed Premises From Small Places of Assembly to Venues
Advice for licensed premises:
Licensed premises in Manchester pose a greater risk to people if there is a fire due to their very nature.
People attend bars, clubs, and entertainment venues to enjoy themselves – whether that’s to have something to eat or drink, dance, listen to music or watch a show.
Visitors to these venues tend to be more relaxed and don’t necessarily act and behave as they would do in other circumstances – therefore, there are extra provisions and care needed to ensure that if there is a fire people can evacuate quickly and safely.
Premises that can be covered by the term ‘licensed’ ranges from public houses and restaurants, to night clubs, theatres, and cinemas, and are more generally termed ‘places of assembly’.
All have different risks which need different approaches to ensure the safety of occupants.
There is Government guidance on what measures are needed to ensure the safety of these types of premises:
• small and medium places of assembly (holding 300 people or less)
• large places of assembly (holding more than 300 people)
• theatres, cinemas, and similar premises
• open air events and venues
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to most premises in Manchester and covers ‘general fire precautions’ and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect ‘relevant persons’ in case of fire in and around ‘most premises.’
The order requires fire precautions to be put in place ‘where necessary’ and to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances of the case including, where necessary, capacity limits.
What fire precautions are needed in any given case will depend on the fire risk assessment. The responsibility for complying with the order rests with the ‘responsible person’ and that may be the employer or any other person/people who may have control of the premises.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service enforces the order in most premises and has the power to inspect the premises to check that the responsible person is complying with their duties.
The Fire Service will look for evidence that the responsible person has carried out a suitable fire risk assessment and acted upon the significant findings of that assessment. If they are dissatisfied with the outcome of your fire risk assessment, or the action taken, or fire safety conditions found, they may issue an enforcement notice that requires the responsible person to make certain improvements or, in cases where there is a significantly large and immediate risk, they may issue a prohibition notice that restricts the use of all or part of the premises until improvements are made.
In cases where there are or have been significant breaches or risks to people in case of fire, the Fire Authority may additionally take legal action through the courts.