Fire Risk assessments – What they are
Tailored documents for your company and its status in relation to Fire Safety which should be recorded for inspection by Fire Officers and your insurance company as well as being a useful tool for preventative and improvement measures.
This complies with obligations under the Fire Safety Order 2005 which became law in 2006, it requires a ‘competent person’ to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment.
This should be documented if your organisation employs five or more people. NB: this is a legal requirement – it is a criminal offence not to have a fire risk assessment in place.
The process incorporates a methodical approach in analysing your working practices with regards to fire safety. The main areas to examine within a business are:
- Fire Prevention – Housekeeping, Storage, Smoking, Heating and Electrical apparatus, Flammable and Combustible substances
- Communication – Detectors, Alarms, Signs, Emergency lighting
- Escape – Escape routes, Escape plans, Drills, Vulnerable occupants
- Confinement – Fire Doors, Fire stopping devices, Smoke dampers
- Fire Suppression – Portable and fixed firefighting equipment and training
- Training, Drills, Testing, Maintenance – Current status and required improvements
These main fire safety categories are very much interlinked and questions should be asked about the satisfactory standard of what is in place (in regards to endangerment of the building and human life) and how any particular system might be improved.
A record of each category/system should be recorded in relation to its existing risk. It should be rated as to the level of its risk, and then an action plan put in place going forward on how to reduce the fire risks. In a summary plan, an improvement program should be formulated time scaling the changes to occur as well as the chronological testing and maintenance of the existing systems.
Training of employees in fire safety awareness and appointing suitable fire wardens will usually be recommended as additional fire safety measures (see our fire safety awareness courses).
Fire Risk Assessment vs Health & Safety Risk assessment
We have assessors who can conduct both in the same visit – it’s generally the most cost effective option and gives peace of mind that your company is fully compliant with legislation/legal requirements for both – not sure what you need – call us and we’ll be able to tell you.
If you are a landlord, owner or occupier of a non-domestic premises/business and you are the responsible person for fire safety, you would be deemed as the responsible person and may be prosecuted if you do not comply with the law and fail to put procedures in place. You have the legal responsibility to have a risk assessment and it will need to be completed by a competent person.
It’s essential that you maintain and review your assessment and revise when it is necessary. If you already have a fire risk assessment in place or you do not currently, FSS will be able to assist you. Our risk assessments are conducted in accordance and guidance of PAS 79 and our risk assessors are time served professionals and members of the Institute of Fire Engineers and have reached a minimum capacity of GIFireE.
Following the assessment a responsible person will be given a documented copy of their Fire Risk Assessments. Fire Officers carry out many spot visits to businesses and require the responsible person to supply documentation. Not producing a risk assessment report is an offence and can result in enforcement notices being issued. Insurance companies require all clients to comply with Fire Safety Order 2005 when processing claims. The Fire Service believe they have now given businesses enough time to familiarise themselves with these new fire safety laws and will look to increase their ‘spot visits’ year on year.
After receiving a report we are able to help with remedial works, emergency plans and training
The responsible person has a legal obligation and responsibility to maintain and make certain that their employees and business premises are protected from potential fire hazards.
You have to manage you risks as fire authorities have a statutory duty to enforce compliance in accordance with current regulations and they may serve a notice to you. In the most severe cases you will potentially get a fine or prosecutions that may result in imprisonment.
Not having a risk assessment can also cause serious disruption to your business and you will have penalties which could be imposed under the regulations if you do not comply. Risking the well-being and lives of your employees, visitors or emergency services is careless and can become a dangerous reality in the event of a fire.
Please don’t risk the safety and well-being of your employees, visitors or the emergency services who may need to attend your site in the event of a fire.
All employers should have a fire risk and safety management process in place. The legislation in place that underpins this is the Fire Safety Order 2005. All businesses must comply with its contents and act on any significant findings. As a reputable, IFEDA Fire Engineering accredited fire safety company we can supply you with a total solution to your safety requirements.
Under the Fire Safety Order, businesses that employ 5 or more people must carry out a fire risk assessment. This should be continuously reviewed and monitored by the responsible person of the business. It is advisable that a qualified Risk Assessor is engaged to carry out any initial Fire Risk Assessments and ongoing assessment reviews.
Risk Assessment Calculator
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“A Fire Risk Assessment is an organised and methodical look at your premises, the activities carried on there and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises. The aims of the risk assessment are to identify the fire hazards, reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm to as low as reasonably practical and to decide what physical fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of people in your premises if a fire does start.” Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The full Fire Safety Order 2005 can be found here.
Qualified IFE professional fire risk assessors cover London, England & (much of) Wales – area in blue: