Fire Risk Assessments
A fire risk assessment is an organised and methodical look at the premises, the activities within the premises, the potential for a fire to occur and the harm it could cause to the people in and around the premises.
The existing fire safety measures are evaluated and kept under review to establish whether they are adequate or if more requires to be done. For the purpose of fire risk assessment, a hazard is a situation that can give rise to fire; and risk is the potential for a fire to occur (i.e. likelihood) and cause death or injury (i.e. consequence).
The aims of a fire risk assessment are:
- To identify hazards and to reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm to as low as is reasonably practicable.
- To determine what fire safety measures and management policies are necessary to ensure the safety of people in the building, should a fire occur.
How is a fire risk assessment carried out? There are five steps in the assessment process.
- Step One - Identify people at risk
- Step Two - Identify fire hazards
- Step Three - Evaluate the risk and decide if existing fire safety measures are adequate
- Step Four - Record fire risk assessment information
- Step Five - Review of fire risk assessment
The first step to preventing a fire is by ensuring that you have a Competent Fire Safety Risk Assessment.
Carrying out a fire safety risk assessment can deliver positive benefits to business; by taking steps to reduce fire risks, employers can prevent a fire occurring. Statistics show that approximately 70% of businesses suffering a serious fire never reopen. If you can prevent this then taking the time to have a proper fire safety risk assessment carried out will prove to be a worthwhile investment.
In addition to the above, since 1st October 2006 it is a legal requirement that any business with more than 5 employees has a fire risk assessment in writing.
As a business ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you had a full fire risk assessment carried out by a competent person?
- Do you have full documentary evidence of the fire risk assessment which is required for inspection by the Fire & Rescue Service at any time?
- Would your fire risk assessment stand up to scrutiny if your premises were inspected by the Fire & Rescue Service?
- Are your staff properly trained in emergency procedures as this can help prevent a fire developing into a major incident, saving both lives and property?
- Do you regularly review your procedures and training?
If you cannot answer yes to the above questions then contact us for a no obligation free estimate.
Managing your fire safety does not end with a single fire risk assessment, and the installation of some fire safety equipment.
The process of managing your fire safety should be a daily part of your business’s safety culture. Risk assessments should be reviewed regularly to ensure that precautions are still working effectively, particularly if there are any changes in the workplace or you have any “near miss” fire situations.
Review your fire risk assessment following:
- A change of use within the work place
- A significant change in staffing levels
- Any material or structural change
- Any change to the fire precautions within the premises
- Any “near miss” or fire incident