What is a Fire Risk Assessment?
In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, owner, landlord or occupier of a business or other non-domestic premises, you’re responsible for fire safety and are known as the ‘responsible person’. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 details what you have to do to comply with the law.
Your insurance provider will assume you are in compliance with the fire safety order when they give you a quote.
Your first task is to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment which identifies all the possible fire hazards in the work environment and details what prevention measures are required. The person who provides such a document should be “suitably qualified”.
Who needs a Fire Risk Assessment?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order imposes a legal requirement to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment. This applies to:
- all businesses who have 5 or more employees (including part-time)
- business premises visited by the public
- landlords with control over business premises
- landlords of HMO properties
- self-employed with business premises
What does a Fire Risk Assessment entail?
A Fire Risk Assessment should cover your entire business premises to evaluate:
- the condition of the building and its age
- the layout of the building
- the contents of the building to identify potential fire hazards, sources of ignition and combustible materials
- the escape routes in the event of a fire
The assessment should also take into consideration who works in the building and in which locations, current fire safety signage in the building, existing protocols for fire prevention and management, and fire safety equipment onsite including its condition and maintenance. Existing fire safety training and drills should also be evaluated.
I will carry out fire awareness or fire warden training and go through some documents with you which will enable you to manage fire safety on your premises. These will include:
- Fire Evacuation Procedures
- Fire Evacuation Practice Record
- Fire Safety Checklist
- Fire Safety Policy
- Fire Emergency Plan
After an assessment has taken place, a Fire Risk Assessment Report can be produced. This report will detail any areas that are not compliant with legislation and need urgent attention, along with recommendations for improvements in fire safety provision. It will also ensure you meet regulatory requirements and satisfy insurance needs.