Do I Need a Fire Risk Assessment? The Simple Answer is YES!
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that it is a legal requirement in the UK for a fire risk assessment (FRA) to have been carried out on most of the premises where people could be working. A written record of your fire risk assessment must be kept if your business has 5 or more people.
A London hotel ignored the legislation and ran the business without having a fire risk assessment. They were ordered to pay a £20,000 fine, £12,000 of which was for not having a fire risk assessment. Find out what happened here.
Who Can Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment?
The fire risk assessment for a smaller or less complex building can be carried out by the business’ Responsible Person (RP). In this case they should familiarise themselves with the relevant guidance documents to ensure they are fully aware of what needs to be included in the assessment. The RRO recommend using the official guidance documents found on the GOV.UK website to assist you. All larger or more complex premises should always have the assessment conducted by an accredited professional.
However, to take any doubt away, have piece of mind and the confidence that your report is correctly filled out, it is advised that a professional fire risk assessor should conduct the assessment for you.
Objectives of a Fire Risk Assessment
A fire risk assessment identifies the hazards and risks and provides solutions. It will assess whether the safety methods you have in place are adequate and identify if any changes are required.
A fire risk assessment will also determine what fire safety measures and management policies are necessary to ensure the safety of people in the building should a fire occur.
Identifying Fire Risks and Hazards
To identify the risks and hazards the sources of ignition must first be established. All work places will contain heat/ignition sources; some will be obvious, such as cooking equipment and open flame and others less obvious such as heat from chemical processes or electrical equipment.
I’ve Had a Fire Risk Assessment Completed, Now What?
If you have had the fire risk assessment completed by a certified assessor, you will be presented with a report containing unbiased recommendations to improve your buildings fire safety procedures.
It will be broken down into sections such as; fire protection measures, risk assessment summary, significant findings etc. Against each area of the premises assessed there will either be ‘compliant’ or ‘non-compliant’. Any areas which are non-compliant will come with a risk level and a reason why. Within the action plan it will state what measures need to be taken in order to become compliant.