Fire Risk Assessment Guide
Does your business need a fire risk assessment? What does is involve? Follow our quick guide to find out:
Who needs a Fire Risk Assessment?
Almost all buildings / premises / structures and even open spaces that the public can access (including employees) require a fire risk assessment. These include:
- Offices and Shops
- Care premises – Hospitals, Care homes etc.
- Community spaces – Village halls, Places of worship and other shared premises
- Shared properties – also check housing laws
- Pubs, Clubs and Restaurants
- Schools and Sports centres
- Tents and Marquees
- Hotels, Hostels, Bed and Breakfasts
- Holiday accommodation
- Factories and Warehouse
Private homes, including individual flats in a block or house do not legally require a fire risk assessment, but it is always a good idea to have a plan that everyone in the house knows what to do in case of a fire. Remember you can be held personally liable if you are found to be negligent in the event of an incident. If in doubt get professional advice.
Who will check if I don’t carry out a Fire Risk Assessment?
The local fire authority is responsible for checking your premises. They have the authority to carry out unannounced visits to premises to check fire safety, and can give you a formal notice to improve your fire safety. If you do not meet the minimum standards your insurance can also be invalidated.
Who is responsible for completing the Fire Risk Assessment?
Anyone who has control over the premises is responsible for completing Fire Risk Assessments, whether that’s an individual or part of a team for one particular area.
For example, this could be:
- An employer
- The owner and/or managing agent for any premises
- The person in charge of fire safety equipment
- An occupier of a building, structure or user of open space where they control that premises
- Any person who has control over any part of a premises accessed by other people
What must I do as the responsible person?
As the responsible person you must carry out the following, or have a professional trained person do it for you:
- Identify & record fire hazards – identify the fuel for a fire, identify sources of oxygen (the air) and find the potential causes that could start a fire.
- Identify & record the people at risk.
- Assess the risk from your findings above – you need to work out:
- Where you need fire extinguishers and what type
- Other firefighting equipment required e.g. hose reels
- Your fire safety escape routes
- Whether a fire alarm is required, and what type
- Emergency lighting and positioning
- Fire safety signage
- Create a plan of action including an emergency plan in case of fire.
- Inform, train and instruct those people at risk.
- Record the plan, the implementation of the plan, and training given.
- Review the plan regularly, especially if there are any changes to the premises.
- Act on those changes.