Fire risk assessment explained

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the responsible person of any non-domestic premises to carry out a fire risk assessment, including measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire, and identify persons at risk.

Companies with five or more employees must keep a record of this. There are official guidance documents on www.gov.uk to guide you through conducting a fire risk assessment.

If the responsible person does not have access / control to all parts of the building and it is shared with others, they should be informed of significant risks. This is identified by the person who does have control (landlord, owner, or other employer).

Fire Hazards

A fire hazard has two components balanced against each other. One is the possibility of a fire occurring and the other the magnitude of consequences of that fire.

  • Identify fire hazards and people at risk
  • Remove or reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm to as low as is reasonably practicable
  • Determine what fire safety measures and management policies are necessary to ensure the safety of people in the building should fire occur

Providing the premises have been built and maintained in accordance with building regulations and is of normal risk or lower, this should be a simple matter without significant expenditure.

However, if the premises are not in accordance with the building regulations, further guidance and action will be necessary. This depends on the complexity, size, occupancy and consequential risks.

Sources of ignition

For a fire to occur it needs a source of ignition, (heat or flame) and a potential source of fuel and oxygen. If the ignition sources and fuel can be kept apart, removed, eliminated or reduced, then the risks to people and your business is minimised.

In order to do this you must first identify possible sources of ignition, fuel and oxygen in your workplace.

Record Fire Risk Assessment Information

When a fire risk assessment is complete, the findings must, in some circumstances be recorded, including any action taken or action still to be taken.

The assessment record should be retained and made available, on request, to the enforcing authority.

It should indicate:

  • Date the assessment was made.
  • The hazards identified.
  • Any staff and other people especially at risk
  • What actions needs to be taken and by when.
  • The conclusions arising from the assessment.

 

Fire procedure

The aim of the plan is to ensure that in the event of fire everyone including contractors and casual employees are sufficiently familiar with the action they should take. Furthermore the premises can be safely evacuated to a location where persons will not be in danger.

Review and revise regularly

Your fire safety risk assessment is not a one-off procedure and should be reviewed regularly.

Situations which might prompt a review include:

  • A change in the number of people present or the characteristics of the occupants including the presence of people with some form of disability.
  • Changes to work procedures, including the introduction of new equipment alterations to the building, including the internal layout significant changes to furniture and fixings.
  • Significant changes to displays or quantities of stock.
  • The introduction or increase in the storage of hazardous substances; or
  • Becoming aware of shortcomings in fire safety measures or potential improvements.

Timmins Group are Firas accredited to carry out surveys, to maintain and to install timber fire door systems and to certificate on completion. This is particularly important as we work in education, local and civil government and office environments which are required to carry out regular fire door maintenance.

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