19 Apr 2023

Do I need a fire risk assessment?

Fire risk assessment

As an employer and/or building owner/occupier/landlord and anyone else who has control of the premises e.g. Facilities manager, you are considered a ‘responsible person’. You’re required to carry out and maintain a fire risk assessment to comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which applies in England and Wales (equivalent requirements apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

The ‘Responsible Person‘ must ensure the following:

  • A fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • Tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • Put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
  • Plan for an emergency
  • Provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

(Source: www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities)

Failing to comply with fire safety regulations can lead to heavy fines or even imprisonment, damage to property and increases in insurance premiums.

What is a fire risk assessment?

The purpose of the assessment is to identify fire hazards, and the risks they could cause to people, premises, equipment, and the environment. The assessment will highlight ignition sources such as chemicals, fuel, oxygen, heaters and electrical equipment for example.

Identify who will be put at risk such as employees, customers, suppliers, contractors, and other premises in close proximity. An assessment will then be made of the likelihood of fire occurring and the consequences, to assess the fire risk.

It will also ascertain the adequacy of current fire safety controls, including the integrity of the building structure, minimising combustible materials, controlling ignition sources, as well as the arrangements for fire-fighting equipment and emergency procedures. Where shortcomings are identified, recommendations should be made to mitigate the risk.

Who can carry out a fire risk assessment?

The level of detail in the assessment, should reflect the nature of the risk from fire and its effects. The ‘responsible person’ should appoint a competent person with the appropriate training, knowledge and experience to undertake this assessment. This could be someone internally or outsourced to an external qualified competent fire risk assessor.

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 places new duties under the Fire Safety Order for building owners or managers (responsible persons) and must be reflected in the assessments, where these are applicable.

To check if you fall under the new act – click the link here

How often does the assessment need to be updated?

Arrangements should be in place to review and update the assessment when significant changes occur but at least annually.

Employ a competent fire risk assessor!

The responsibility to comply with the law rests with the ‘responsible person (s)’ so we would always encourage you to ensure that you have a competent fire risk assessor, who has the correct training, experience, knowledge and certification to carry out your assessment.

We can help, Sentinel Safety Solutions have a team of highly qualified consultants who have vast experience in this area and can provide you with an assessment that ensures you have all the right elements in place to mitigate your risk of fire.

Please email info@sentinelsafety.co.uk  for further information or to find out other ways we can protect you and your staff please visit www.sentinelsafety.co.uk/risk-management/health-safety/

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