1. Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread
    Dismiss Notice

Question? What is needed to make a guiding run hall compliant in all areas?

Discussion in 'Hall Management' started by Alteredermie, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Alteredermie

    Alteredermie Dazed and Confused

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi all,
    Apologies for the long post but I hope someone will have experienced a similar issue.

    We have recently been told that our hall is no longer compliant and that we can't run host sleepovers anymore until such a time as it can be reapproved. This approval will only happen if we get a fire certificate.

    I am aware that other units use church halls for sleepovers and they don't have to have fire certificates so why is this mandatory for guiding run halls?

    Is there a list anywhere which details what we need to ensure is in place to meet fire safety regulations; health and safety regulations and any other regulations as necessary? We do have a very comprehensive Risk Assessment for the hall which does include what to do in the event of a fire.

    We have read Best Intentions, very outdated now and doesn't contain most up to date info. Have also tried HQ who effectively fobbed us off and couldn't give us a clear response.
    Our fire escapes are push bars, we have adequate brand new fire extinguishers and a fire blanket (we have a contract with Chubb). We don't currently have wired in emergency lighting and smoke detectors are domestics ones. We have been told that in order to get a fire certificate a complete wired in system of lighting and smoke detectors must be in place.
    The hall itself is open plan with the kitchen with separate Leaders room and bathrooms. We have air horns that can be used upon discovering a fire.

    Please could someone point us in the right direction?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    12,396
    Likes Received:
    329
    Your local camp/holiday adviser will have the information (or be able to source it for you) - because we have to follow local council regulations as well as Scottish and UK ones, plus any relevant Guiding rules, it can become complicated, and unfortunately there isn't one UK-wide answer.
     
  3. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,664
    Likes Received:
    216
    There isn't a single answer but it could be worth speaking to your local fire service and asking them to come down to do an inspection. They would check your risk assessments, how often the smoke alarms are tested, ensuring the extinguishers are upto date and suitable for the area. They may also advise on other factors.

    One of the other criteria for a venue being suitable for sleepovers is having insurance for 24 hour occupancy.

    Best Intentions is now out of date but there is now an area on the website for individuals that look after premises to ensure that good practice is in place.
     
  4. Tawnyowl51

    Tawnyowl51 Veteran (100+ posts)

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,364
    Likes Received:
    50
    I share your frustration
    You are either in the same area as I am, or it is becoming a more common issue. Lots of the local halls and guide huts etc that have been previously used for sleepovers are no longer approved. The message coming down the tree is that it is County that has decided that places are not to be used, despite HQ stating that no new regulations have been introduced ( I emailed them to ask what the latest guidelines are, and they said nothing had changed, here's what it said a year ago)


    We do not have any new Guidelines on a requirements for residential events. It is important that there is a safe supply of drinking water and that fire safety regulations are met. We do have a list of Checklist for assessing residential sites which I have included with this email. It is found at the back of the Going Away with Scheme to give guidance on what to look for when considering a site or holiday house. The list is flexible and properties do not have to meet all the elements listed below but is guidance. Properties should be approved by a local adviser.
    We also have a free resource called Best Intentions which provides clear information and guidelines for best practice in the following areas:
    Creating a safe environment
    Health and safety
    Buildings, land and equipment
    Health, hygiene, and the environment
    Volunteers and staff

    This seems to suggest it is all down to the local adviser, and therefore County (or the local fire and rescue) who have decided unilaterally to impose additional restrictions. that word by-laws spring to mind.
    Of course safety is paramount and I have no problems complying with all the fire safety regulations regarding overnight venues, and if this has come from the Fire and rescue service then it should be made clear where it is coming from, but just to be told vaguely that County 'have decided' is extremely frustrating especially since the number of county properties has been reduced by 2/3 and the only available one is expensive and has to be booked about 15 months in advance. Not ideal for just a local sleepover.
     
  5. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    12,396
    Likes Received:
    329
    Rather than get into debates, I would ask one simple question - "who in County has decided"? Which individual (in which case you can arrange to contact that individual to seek clarification)? Or which committee (in which case you can contact the chair of that committee)? "County" is not a person and so "County" cannot decide anything. Only a Commissioner or Adviser can decide anything, whether as an individual or as the chair of a committee . . .
     
    rugbynutter likes this.
  6. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,664
    Likes Received:
    216
    It may also be the case that the County advisors have undertaken a fresh assessment of the venue's and found that they do not meet the required criteria. Just because a venue has been used for 20 years doesn't mean that it is up to standard or has the required insurance etc.

    It must also be good practice for Counties to periodically to re-assess venue's to ensure that they are up to scratch and that the current fire and safety regulations are being met. It may be that they have withdrawn permission until certain upgrades are completed or the owners have decided not to have the overnight insurance cover due to costs.
     
    fenris and rugbynutter like this.

Share This Page