Who is responsible for completing the Fire Risk Assessment?


Published: July 5, 2022

ISE fire engineer doing fire extinguisher servicing.

What is a fire risk assessment?

In the UK a Fire Risk Assessment is a comprehensive look at your business premises, and the people who use them, from a fire prevention perspective. It’s about understanding the potential risks, then improving and increasing your fire safety precautions to keep people safe.

Who is responsible for completing the fire risk assessment?

You may be wondering who should carry out a fire risk assessment and The UK Government Fire safety in the workplace site has guidelines on who is responsible for completing the fire risk assessment on your business premises.

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
Burning appliances. Small flame. Stair.

Can a risk assessor be a responsible person?

Absolutely. And so can a managing agent. If your premises are shared, there is a possibility of having multiple people responsible for completing a fire risk assessment in the shared premises.

In addition, a business that has paying guests by law have to complete a fire risk assessment. An example of this would be a bed and breakfast establishment, and all types of self-catering properties in the UK.

Can I carry out my own fire risk assessment?

The completion of fire risk assessment in your workplace can be undertaken by yourself, with the assistance of standard fire safety risk assessment guides.

The 5 steps involved in carrying out a risk assessment are:

  • Hazard identification of potential fires
  • Identify people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce risks
  • Record findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training
  • Review your fire risk assessment report and update regularly

What must I do as the responsible person?

As the responsible person you must carry out the following, or have a competent person do it for you:

  • Identify & record fire hazards – identify the source of ignition and fuels

  • 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
Fire Escape sign. Multiple sockets / socket extension. Inspecting fire extinguishers.

Enlisting a professional fire risk assessor

If the responsible party doesn’t feel confident about carrying out a fire risk assessment to be “suitable and sufficient” as per the requirements of the Fire Safety Order, then they are best placed to enlist a reliable and experienced fire risk assessor to undertake this vital task.

Obviously, choosing to hire an external fire risk assessor does cost money, but there are several benefits of using a professional to perform the assessment, such as the responsible party can relax and have peace of mind knowing the assessment will be as thorough as possible.

Your fire risk assessor will arrive on the pre-agreed date of the fire risk assessment, and undertake the required assessment of the business premises. The assessment can take some time, the time it takes depends on several factors, for example, the number and size of buildings, the number of occupants, number of floors and the risk level. Upon completion of the assessment, you will be given a fire risk assessment report. This report will detail the fire risks (if any), actions to take, and include compliance./

Insurance Approved Fire Risk Assessments

We provide Fire Risk Assessments to business premises in (amongst other locations):

  • Wellingborough
  • Northamptonshire
  • Kettering
  • Bedford
  • Milton Keynes
  • Leicester
  • Corby

You will be supplied with a professional insurance approved report, which identifies your fire safety compliance.

The Fire Risk Assessment Reports are normally between 20 to 30 pages long and give clear instructions on what changes you need to make in the future.

All our reports comply with “The Fire Regulatory Reform Act 2005”, and cover all types of buildings, from private homes to shops, offices and factories.

Want to know more about Fire Risk Assessments?

Head here for some more information about fire risk assessments.

Bear in mind that you must keep a written record of your Fire Risk Assessment if your organisation employs five or more people, if your premises are licensed or an Alterations Notice is in force, (following a visit from the Fire Service).

Nigel Bates - director of ISE Fire portrait..

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