Frequently Asked Questions
A Fire Risk Assessment is a systematic identification of all fire related hazards within the premises and is designed to analyse how those hazards may adversely affect the building and its occupants. It should identify the level of risk that those hazards may present and also identify suitable control measures for any significant findings. As part of the assessment, an action plan should be formulated with reasonable timescales assigned for the implementation of any necessary remedial action.
If you are the responsible person, then you must arrange for a competent person to carry out a fire risk assessment on your behalf. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force on 1st October 2006, requires that all buildings (other than single domestic dwellings) should have an assessment carried out and all significant findings should be recorded. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 replaced all existing fire safety legislation and now, even if you have a Fire Certificate that was previously issued for the building, by the Fire Service, you will still need to ensure an assessment is carried out. In many cases the Fire Certificate can act as a basis for this assessment.
Somebody with an appropriate level of knowledge and experience regarding the legislation, fire safety standards to be applied and the principles of risk assessment should undertake the assessment. This person must be able to make appropriate judgements regarding fire risk and recommend suitable measures to eliminate, or manage these risks. This person is known as the ‘Competent Person’ and in most cases this will be a fire safety professional. In some cases this expertise may be available ‘in-house’.
The fire risk assessment should identify any/all threats to the safety of the building and its occupants from fire. In practical terms this would include assessment of the following areas:
- Ignition Sources
- Premises Layout and Construction
- People at Risk
- Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
- Fire Fighting Provision
- Escape Facilities
- Fire Safety Signage
- Emergency Lighting
- Fire Emergency Plan
- Testing and Maintenance of Fire Safety Systems
- Record Keeping Arrangements
Once the assessment is complete, any ‘Significant Findings’ must be recorded in writing and any/all persons who may be affected by the assessment should be informed accordingly. In addition, an action plan should be formulated with regard to the implementation of any necessary remedial action. The action plan should specify exactly what is to be achieved, by whom and in what timescales. The action plan should be continually kept up to date and should provide a full audit trail facility for management and Enforcing Authorities.
The assessment should be reviewed ‘Whenever it is considered to be no longer valid’. In practical terms this means following any significant change to the occupancy, or layout of the building, following any fire related incident, or near miss, or at periodic intervals as stated within the assessment (generally considered to be 12 monthly, for normal risk buildings).
The main risk with not carrying out a fire assessment is that you will be unaware of any fire related hazards that could affect the safety of the occupants of the building and any potential threat to the continued operation of your business. This could result in serious injury, death and/or significant financial loss. In addition it is a legal requirement to carry out and manage the fire assessment and failure could lead to enforcement action being taken against the ‘Responsible Person’.
Our Company has been established by ex Senior Fire Service Officers and we have undertaken literally thousands of fire assessments over the years. This experience means that we can not only identify the wide range of fire risks that could threaten you and your premises, but can offer workable and cost effective solutions that will also meet the requirements of the enforcing bodies. Also, rather than a ‘one size fits all approach’, like some of our competitors, we have a range of services and prices designed to accommodate all sizes and types of business.Our Consultants are registered with the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) and we have a framework in place that ensures consistency and quality in everything that we do. We are also confident that we can beat any other quote on a like for like basis.
Call us on 023 9287 6355 to talk to one of our team, or use our on-line quotation form.