Fire Risk Assessments

Professional Fire Protection Specialist.

Fire risk assessment emergency evacuation plan

What is a Fire Risk Assessment, Why do I need it?

It is a legal requirement for all business premises to conduct a fire risk assessment. However, not everyone has a good understanding of this essential fire safety measure. People often ask, “what is a fire risk assessment?” An FRA needs to be at the centre of your business fire safety arsenal.

 

Fire risk assessments, unfortunately, are frequently overlooked. This can result in a business being unnecessarily exposed to fire risk, and potentially loss of life at times.

 

Risk Assessments are frequently asked for by enforcement officials such as Fire Officers or Environmental Health Officers. 

What is a Fire Risk Assessment or FRA?

Fire risk assessments do have some specific guidelines:

 

The Fire Risk Assessment must be reviewed on a regular basis. It is recommended that the following be included in the review:

  • Documented review every 12 months after the original assessment was carried out

  • If the buildings purpose has substantially changed

  • If the building structure, such as the layout, has changed

  • If there has been a considerable change in the occupants

  • If you’ve unfortunately has an incident, then it’s a good time to reflect and revisit the FRA

Who is responsible to ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is conducted?

Legislations states, every block of flats and business is required to have an individual who is designated as the “Responsible Person” who is responsible for the building’s fire safety.

 

The job of the designated Responsible Person is to ensure that all relevant fire safety rhythms and routines are conducted and that any necessary remedial action is taken in order to minimise the risk of fires from occurring.

The responsible person is the one who needs to ensure that a valid fire risk assessment is made on your building.

Small business owners are usually the Responsible Person for their premises unless someone else from the team is nominated.

What is reviewed as part of a Fire Risk Assessment?

Fire Risk Assessments should be comprehensive and numerous fire risk factors should be taken into account.

The amount of detail included in an individual review depends to a great extent on the building’s complexity. For example, a one compartment building, like a kiosk or small shop, is going to have a lot less that needs to be reviewed compared to a block of flats or large office block.

Although every fire risk assessment is unique, the following fire prevention and fire risk factors should be checked by the assessor as part of the assessment:

  • The building’s construction, layout, and use.

  • The nature and number of occupants, including any potentially vulnerable occupants.

  • Electrical equipment on the site that could be a potential source of ignition.

  • Whether the building has a history of any fire loss.

  • Defence against arson attacks.

  • Smoking areas as well as prevention measures that have been taken to prevent fires caused by smoking.

  • Protection against fires that are caused by lighting.

  • Installed and portable heating devices that can trigger fires.

  • Any fire hazards that have been introduced by outside contractors or building works.

  • General housekeeping and key areas being kept clear of any combustible materials.

  • The configuration and maintenance of escape routes.

  • Storage arrangements for any flammable and dangerous liquids.

  • Emergency lighting has been properly installed, maintained and is in good working order.

  • Measures are in place for limiting fire spread.

  • Adequate means are in place to raise the alarm in the event of a fire.

  • Fire safety signs are in the proper locations and used correctly.

  • Other devices, Fire Detection Systems, Sprinklers, Ansul Systems, Deaf-guards, Dorguards, are properly installed and maintained annually by a certified engineer.

  • The appropriate, commissioned and certified, fire extinguishers are in the correct locations, and annually serviced by a qualified engineer.

  • Whether or not there are evacuation drills and fire safety training on a regular basis.

  • Who manages the building’s fire safety and how well it is done?

  • Proper records and documentation are being kept on fire safety precautions supporting due-diligence.

  • Correct testing procedures and maintenance are in place for fire safety systems.

  • Comprehensive compliance training is provided to all colleagues on an annual basis as a minimum, further supporting a due-diligence defence should an incident occur.

Contact us to arrange a fire risk assessment for your business or building.

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