Fire Policy


Introduction – Fire Risk Assessment


1 Premises Particulars

2 General Statement of Policy

3 Management Systems

4 General Description of Premises

5 Fire Safety Systems within the premises

6 Plan Drawing

7 Fire Hazards

8 People at Risk

9 Means of Escape (Horizontal Evacuation)

10 Means of Escape (Vertical Evacuation)

11 Fire Safety Signs and Notices

12 Fire Warning System

13 Emergency lighting

14 Fire Fighting Equipment

15 Maintenance

16 Method of calling the Fire Service

17 Emergency Action Plan

18 Training

19 Record of Fire Safety Deficiencies

20 Significant Findings

21 Additional Hazards

22 Vestry


This document serves as a record of a fire risk assessment as required by the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended by S.I.1999 No.1877) and Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

From the time these Regulations came into force it is a requirement for all employers to:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment of the workplace taking into consideration all employees and all other people who may be affected by a fire in the workplace and to make adequate provision for any disabled people with special needs who use or may be present in the premises;
  • Identify the significant findings of the risk assessment and the details of anyone who might be especially at risk in case of fire. If more than five people are employed it is a requirement that these significant findings are recorded; (However it is recommended that a written record is produced on all occasions to assist with the process of ongoing reviews)
  • Provide and maintain such fire precautions as are necessary to safeguard those who use the workplace; and
  • Provide information, instruction and training to employees about the fire precautions in the workplace

Fire Risk Assessment

Divide the premises into areas/rooms/floors as necessary and carry out a fire risk assessment for each part. During the assessment and evaluation of the findings you should bear in mind the following.

Significant Findings:

Upon completion of the fire risk assessment, the significant findings should be recorded (Section 20).

The significant findings should include:

  • a record of the protective and preventative measures already in place to control the risks;
  • what further action, if any, needs to be taken to reduce risk sufficiently;

Review and Revision

The assessment should be reviewed or revised following any of the following:-

  • Any significant change of work practices
  • Any significant change in staff levels
  • Any structural or material alteration to the premises
  • Any near miss or fire
  • Reviewed at least annually


1. Premise Particulars


2 General statement of policy

A safety policy is a written statement of an employer’s intent to ensure the safety of their employees.

The purpose of the safety policy is to give clear commitment to comply with the relevant Regulations.

It is the policy of the PCC of Christ Church Cambridge to protect all persons including employees, volunteers, contractors and members of the public from potential injury and damage to their health which might arise from activities in the church.
The PCC will provide and maintain safe working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all employees and volunteers, and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose.
The PCC will give a high level of commitment to health and safety and will comply with all statutory requirements.
Signed ………………………………………… Date ………………………………………
(on behalf of the PCC)

3 Management Systems

Provide a statement specifying the planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the fire risk assessment.


Planning – How the employer proposes to complete the Fire Risk Assessment and determine priorities in eliminating any hazards and reducing risks to person


The Fire Risk Assessment is completed by Richard Newman (Buildings Manager), experienced in the completion of risk assessments and a chartered surveyor. The risk assessment will then be submitted to the PCC for review and approval. Priorities for eliminating hazards and reducing risk will be set by the PCC and implemented by Richard Newman.


Organisation – How the organisation is structured. To include how Health and Safety information is
communicated to all employees, and what their involvement has been in complying with all aspects of
the Fire Risk Assessment


There are ten members of staff who work in the building on a part / full time basis. The PCC is the governing body and decision-making authority for all church matters, including health & safety. 

All employees are instructed in their contracts of employment to “maintain a good standard of health and safety and comply with the Christ Church Cambridge Health & Safety Policy in all aspects of your work”. The policy is provided to employees on day one of their employment. As part of their induction they will be familiarised with the contents of the policy. All employees will be reminded of the policy on an annual basis and whenever amendments are made. 

Non-compliance with the policy will be taken seriously and re-training given where appropriate.


Control - Identify the people (at all levels) who may have responsibility for carrying out the
Management of Health and Safety issues throughout the workplace.


PCC – Responsible for reviewing and approving the health & safety policy

Richard Newman – (Buildings Manager) – Risk owner and responsible for implementing the health & safety policy

Stephen Midgley (Minister) – Line manager for all staff

Staff – Day-to-day oversight of volunteers using the premises


Monitoring – Identify how the employer will measure the success of the Health and Safety policy. This should include regular checks of fire precautions, investigation of causes of incidents and the recording of other relevant information. 
  • Annual review of the policy and investigation into any major health & safety incidents by the PCC
  • Six-monthly review of fire precautions by the Buildings Manager
  • Records of all accidents to be kept (recorded in Accident Book and kept in general office) and reviewed regularly by the Buildings Manager


Review – Identify a regular review procedure to include any identified deficiencies and a process by
which they can be rectified.

See above for review procedures. Rectification of deficiencies in procedures will be determined by the PCC and implemented by the Buildings Manager.


4 General description of the premises

Give a general description of the premises and the use to which it is put. Include the following details:


5 Fire Safety Systems

Give details of any fire safety systems in the premises such as fire warning systems, escape lighting,
sprinklers, etc. (e.g. Fire alarm break- glass system to British Standard 5839, escape lighting to British Standard 5266)

Fire Warning System: (i.e. automatic fire detection, break-glass system to BS 5839, other)

Fire alarm installed to comply with requirements of BS5839.
Control panel located in front foyer.
2 optical smoke detectors located in front lobby.
1 optical smoke detector located in main hall.
1 optical smoke detector located in boiler room.
3 break glass points located adjacent all exit doors.
2 sounders in first floor auditorium
1 sounder in front lobby
1 sounder in rear lobby
1 sounder in main hall


Emergency Lighting: (i.e. maintained/non-maintained, 1hr/3hr duration to BS 5266)


Emergency lights:
1 first floor on rear staircase
1 in hall by patio
1 in hall by back lobby
1 in back lobby
1 in crèche by front lobby
2 in front lobby by main entrance and exit
Numerous fittings throughout building


Other: (i.e. Sprinkler system to LPC rules BS 5306)




6 Plan drawing (See attached)

To assist the assessor in completing an assessment, and employees in understanding the findings and evacuation procedures/plans it is recommended that a single line drawing of the premises/area/room/floor is prepared, which should be attached to the risk assessment.

The plan should show: -

  • Escape routes
  • Number of exits
  • Number of stairs
  • Fire resisting doors
  • The location of fire warning devices (i.e. break-glass alarm points, sounders, rotary gongs)
  • The location of emergency lights (to include hand held torches if provided)
  • The location and type of firefighting equipment (i.e. water extinguishers, foam extinguishers, etc.)


7 Identify Fire Hazards within the Area/Room/Floor

Consider any fire hazards within the area/room/floor:


Sources of ignition

Non-smoking building
General kitchen use (although no naked flames)
Candles for carol services


Sources of fuel

Gas supply
Timber seating
Paper waste


Work processes

Candles fixed securely, low likelihood of flame setting light to timber seating
Paper waste cleared regularly to bins outside
Strict kitchen procedures to ensure minimal risk of fire during cooking


Structural features that could promote the spread of fire

Open staircase leading to upstairs. Fire contained by 2 sets of doors blocking off the entrance lobby and ground floor.


8 People who would be at Risk from Fire

Identify and specify the likely location of people at significant risk in case of fire, indicating why they are at risk, and what controls are or need to be in place:

  • Employees, located primarily in offices situated around the building, minimal risk as easy access to escape routes.
  • Volunteers, located primarily on the ground floor, in the kitchen and in the parish vestry.
  • Members of the public, usually located upstairs for church services, two escape routes with easy access therefore minimal risk.


9 Means of Escape – Horizontal Evacuation

The majority of events and activities at Christ Church involve no more than 50 people at any one time. Evacuation of the premises would be simple with wide exits and two access points from the ground floor. 

The exception to this is on a Sunday with approximately 250 people attending in the morning service and 80 people in the evening. Evacuation is by a front and rear staircase leading directly to building exit points. 

The majority of people would be familiar with the layout of the church building, entry and exit points. Visitors would be with regular members of the church who could help direct them to exit points. Escape time on a Sunday would be approximately 2-3 minutes and travel distance to an exit is no more than 17 meters. 

All exit routes are clearly signed. The main exit route into the front lobby from the ground floor is through a set of fire resistant doors, into a lobby 8.5 meters wide. The side exit is the same. All escape routes lead to open areas. Lobby entrances are kept clear from obstructions. Doors can be easily opened from the inside during working hours without need for a key. 


10 Means of Escape – Vertical Evacuation

There are two staircases leading from the first floor out to exit points, therefore if one was inaccessible due to fire, occupants could still escape from the building. The main staircase into the front lobby is 3 meters wide, leading into a lobby which is 8.5 meters wide. The exit route from the first floor, down the staircase to the side entrance is standard door-width.


11 Fire Safety Signs and Notices

  • All fire safety signs comply with the current standard (pictogram exit sign). 
  • Fire-fighting equipment is accompanied by instructions for use.


12 Fire Warning Systems

There is a fire-warning system (alarm) activated by a break-glass box, with three break-glass boxes in the building. The alarm is audible from inner offices.


13 Emergency Lighting System

The premises are in use during the hours of darkness so escape lighting is used. When operated, there is there sufficient illumination for occupants to see the external escape routes.


14 Fire Fighting Equipment

6l water extinguisher and 2kg CO2 extinguisher at top of stairs, first floor

6l water extinguisher at top of secondary stairs, first floor

6l water extinguisher front lobby

6l water extinguisher rear lobby

6l water extinguisher and 2kg CO2 extinguisher in main hall

1 fire blanket in kitchen

6l water extinguisher and 2kg CO2 extinguisher in Vestry


15 Maintenance

  • Fire detection and fire warning systems – Annual inspection (Full check and test of system by competent service engineer)
  • Emergency lighting equipment – Annual inspection (Full check and test of system by competent service engineer)
  • Firefighting equipment - Annual inspection (Full check and service by competent service engineer)


16 Method of Calling the Fire Service

. Method of calling the Fire Service

Dial 999 in the event of emergency and ask for fire brigade


17 Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

(Please read with accompanying Evacuation Procedures)

On discovering a fire employees should use fire-fighting equipment if the fire is small and contained. Persons should be evacuated from the immediate area.

  • If the fire is at risk of spreading or cannot be controlled the break-glass system should be activated and people evacuated immediately.
  • The fire service should be called by a member of staff.
  • People should congregate outside the building to the front.
  • The most senior member of staff will liaise with the fire service on arrival.


18 Training

All employees will receive a full explanation of the EAP at induction and other regular periods, (usually once a year). Regular fire drills should be carried out to both support the training given and to test the procedures work appropriately.


19 Rectification of Fire Safety deficiencies

A list will be made of any fire safety deficiencies found from the fire risk assessment and presented to the PCC. It is the PCC’s responsibility to prioritise the deficiencies and action their rectification. 


20 Significant Findings

As above.


21 Additional Hazards

None noted.


22 Vestry

All those working with children in the vestry need to be aware of the risk of fire and the need for possible emergency evacuation. It is possible to exit through the back casement windows in emergency, but the normal route of evacuation is through the main doors.

The individual with overall responsibility must decide for themselves what is safe in relation to the number of children in the room. Thirty is getting to the upper limits of safety; there should certainly never be more than 40 individuals in the room.