A fire risk assessment is a process that identifies potential fire hazards in a building or facility. Consequently, this assessment helps to determine the level of risk associated with each hazard and identify every source of ignition. Following this, all hazards will be noted and we will provide recommendations for mitigating those risks.
As a result of stricter fire safety legislation, every business with more than five employees must have a fire risk assessment conducted on their property.
Own or manage a commercial property? It is your responsibility to ensure that it is safe from fire hazards.
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- Download a fire risk assessment template
Sources of Ignition
What are sources of ignition? Firstly, it’s crucial that we are able to identify ignition sources. Often difficult to spot, we are seeking objects or processes capable of producing heat that can ignite flammable substances. Given that there are many ignition risks in a workplace. It is essential for a fire risk assessment to be extremely vigilant.
We have narrowed it down to 5 key ‘source of ignition’ categories.
- Hot Surfaces: Heat is produced where energy exists. However, in this example let’s focus on deliberate heat as a source of ignition. In Winter it is fairly common for employees to want electrical heaters. Electrical heaters use a lot of energy and therefore are capable of overloading circuits. Because heaters are prone to tipping, this could cause an additional fire risk.
- Overloaded Electrical Sockets: Undoubtedly overloaded sockets can cause a fire risk due to overheating. Generally, this is true if the overloaded socket is in an enclosed space. We advise that if you have overloaded sockets, you should be sure to check them regularly and unplug any appliances that are not being used.
- Open Gas Flames: When you have an open gas flame, it provides a source of ignition for any flammable materials in the area. Fire burning is a source of ignition and gas can help it spread. Also, we advise never leaving a gas stove unattended while it’s on.
- Ovens, Fryers and Hotplates: Firstly, we never advise oil and grease to be left unattended. Secondly, the temperature of a hot plate can reach 750°C. This is significantly higher than the combustion temperature of cardboard, cloth or paper (255°C – 575°C).
- Faulty or Damaged Electrical Equipment: Injuries, burns and explosions are extremely common in electrical equipment. Known as arcing, an electrical discharge capable of reaching 19426°C is released. As a result combustion is common if electrical equipment isn’t tested. Buy arc flash protection clothing here.
Who is Responsible for a Fire Risk Assessment?
In England and Wales. If you’re an employer you’re responsible for fire safety. This makes you known as the ‘responsible person’. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 details what you have to do to comply with the law. (The rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland – please ring us for specific advice).
Your insurance provider will assume you are in compliance with the fire safety order when they give you a quote.
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You could get fined and/or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations. Minor penalties can be up to £5,000. Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison.
Local fire and rescue authorities have the ability to inspect any premises. They can issue fire safety notice telling you about changes you might need to make to your premises. If they consider that your fire prevention measures are totally inadequate they may even restrict access to your business until the issues are resolved.
Why Use OHEAP Fire & Security?
We at OHEAP Fire & Security are a fully accredited company to ISO 9001:2008 in quality management. Specialists in the fire industry, OHEAP have over 60 years’ experience. We can complete your fire risk assessment at your premises.
Our website has an online fire risk assessment available. We have designed this for businesses with low to medium fire risk elements. The online fire risk assessment allows you to go through the fire risk assessment process in your own time and at your own pace.