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Fire Risk Assessment: How to Keep Your Business Safe

What is a fire risk assessment? A fire risk assessment is an important part of running any business. It is the process of identifying fire hazards, people at risk and taking the appropriate steps to prevent fires and potential injuries occurring. It’s important because if there are fire risks, you’ll know what they are and how to manage them. 

Continue reading this page to learn who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment and how often it should be done. We also provide some tips on how to keep your business safe from fire!

Who is Responsible for Completing a Fire Risk Assessment?

In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, person who has control of the premises or owner of the building/business other than a single domestic dwelling, you may be 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. You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people. It is important to note that you could be fined and/or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.

In order to properly carry out a fire risk assessment, the assessor should have a minimum understanding of the following:

 

      • Fire alarm system categories and design standards
      • Emergency lighting design standards
      • Fire extinguisher and fire safety sign and notice standards
      • Fire risk assessment guidance documents
      • Current building regulations
      • Effects of fire on people and behaviour of people in fire situations
      • Means of escape
      • Fire prevention
      • Management of fire safety

The fire risk assessment should be carried out by a suitably trained, qualified and experienced fire risk assessor.

At OHEAP Fire & Security all of Fire Risk Assessors are experts in their field and can take on the mantle of the “responsible person”. This way you can be confident that your Fire Risk Assessment has been completed diligently and accurately.

The Five Steps of a Fire Risk Assessment

We are often asked “how many steps make up a fire safety risk assessment?” There are five key steps to conducting a basic fire risk assessment:

 

  • Identify the fire hazards.
    • Anything that can start a fire
    • Anything that could burn
  • Identify people at risk.
    • Who is at risk?
    • Who is especially at risk?
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  • Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

Risk Assessment Example Checklist

Alongside the five steps of a fire risk assessment, the following will need to be considered:

 

  1. Emergency routes and exits
  2. Fire detection and warning systems
  3. Firefighting equipment
  4. Emergency escape lighting
  5. The removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
  6. An emergency fire evacuation plan
  7. The needs of vulnerable people, for example the elderly, young children or those with disabilities
  8. Providing information to employees and other people on the premises
  9. Staff fire safety training

    Who is Responsible for Completing a Fire Risk Assessment?

    In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, person who has control of the premises or owner of the building/business other than a single domestic dwelling, you may be 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. You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people. It is important to note that you could be fined and/or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.

     

    The fire risk assessment should be carried out by a suitably trained, qualified and experienced fire risk assessor. In order to properly carry out a fire risk assessment, the assessor should have a minimum understanding of the following:

     

        • Fire alarm system categories and design standards
        • Emergency lighting design standards
        • Fire extinguisher and fire safety sign and notice standards
        • Fire risk assessment guidance documents
        • Current building regulations    
        • Effects of fire on people and behaviour of people in fire situations
        • Means of escape
        • Fire prevention
        • Management of fire safety

    How Often Should Fire Risk Assessments be Reviewed?

    Fire risk assessments are a legal requirement and it is recommended they are reviewed annually. In addition, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, requires a fire risk assessment to be reviewed if there are changes in the business, such as structural alterations, change of building use, increase in occupancy or use by a different group of people and a new fire risk assessment should be completed.

    If you’re in need of an updated fire risk assessment or aren’t sure whether you are, get in touch and one of our Fire Protection Consultants can answer all of your questions. 

    Some tips on how to keep your business and people safe from fire.

    • Flammable substances: Keep them away from ignition sources and store them correctly.
    • Smoking: Control smoking on the premises.
    • Cleanliness: Maintain a tidy business and avoid a build-up of rubbish.
    • Electrical:  Installations and equipment to be checked by competent person.
    • Arson: Take measures to prevent arson especially in respect to combustible materials located externally next to your building.
    • Emergency plans: Ensure employees know what to do in the event of discovering a fire, such as detailing evacuation procedures and calling the fire service.
    • Fire escape routes: Establish these and ensure your employees know where they are. The route should be easily accessible and well signed, ensuring easy evacuation in the event of a fire.
    • Fire wardens/marshals: Identify suitable persons and provide them with relevant training so they understand their role.
    • Fire alarm and detection systems: Install an appropriate fire alarm system and have it checked regularly.
    • Install emergency lighting: Ensure emergency escape routes are well illuminated in the event of an emergency.
    • Fire extinguishers: Provide suitable fire extinguishers and train staff in their use as required.
    • Fire drills: Hold regular drills so all your employees are aware of what to do in the event of a fire.
    • Training: Provide fire safety training for employees.

    By following these tips, you can help keep your business safe from fire. Remember, fire safety is everyone’s responsibility!

    Other Services

    Fire Alarms

    Our team of accredited experts will assess your premises and design a system suited for your requirements and budget. 

    Emergency Lighting

    A correctly designed and well maintained emergency lighting system could prove vital for your staff in the event of a fire. 

    Fire Suppression Systems

    Our uniquely designed systems are one of the most effective ways to protect your business from fire.