According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all non-domestic premises within the UK need to have a fire risk assessment carried out on a regular basis. This means that as well as your standard monthly checks, a competent person – ideally your fire safety warden – needs to review the fire risk assessment for your business annually. With an additional professional fire risk assessment review being performed at least every three years, as well as following any structural or functional changes being made to your site.
The aim of this is to ensure that your business, and the people within it, are as protected as possible from the threat of fire. By identifying hazards, eliminating risks, and ascertaining whether any people on site could be in need of extra support should the building ever need to be evacuated.
How Often Should Fire Risk Assessments Be Reviewed – And Other Common Risk Assessment Questions
Who needs a fire risk assessment?
If you operate a business within the UK, you are obliged to conduct regular fire risk assessments. Our professional fire risk assessments last 3 years, but they should be reviewed internally by your companies fire warden monthly as part of their standard checks and annually in full. This is to allow for any potential changes within the building/premises like new walls formed or new doorways being included in your latest risk assessment.
Who is responsible in a business for completing a fire risk assessment?
If you are accountable for a premises, you are responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to conduct the assessment yourself. In fact, the safest and best choice is to get an accredited contractor to conduct your fire risk assessment as this is a legally binding document for a premises and anyone undertaking an assessment should have the proper qualifications to sign the report. Our team at 1st Class Fire Protection can help schedule a yearly full check to take this job off your list, but ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure that the assessment gets done to keep your business up to date, safe and compliant.
What is involved in a fire risk assessment?
There are six key components to a fire risk assessment:
Assess your premises for potential risks. This involves inspecting all areas of your business and viewing it through the lens of fire safety.
Removing or managing any identified risks. Some fire hazards – such as chemicals or equipment integral to operations – cannot be completely removed. But they can be managed with correct storage and adequate safety provision.
Identify any people who may be at risk. Whether employees or regular customers, it’s important to be aware of any person who may need additional help in the event of a fire, and find ways to support them. This includes those with mobility, sight, or hearing issues.
Record your findings. You will use the information you’ve recorded to perform your monthly checks. It will also support you with any liability concerns should a fire event happen.
Create an emergency plan. This must include escape routes, clear access to emergency exits, the application of emergency lighting where relevant, and the identification of a safe fire meeting point.
Train your team. Your team should be trained in all aspects of fire safety pertinent to your business.
Your fire risk assessment should be updated on a regular basis to ensure maximum safety for your business and your people.
For any business, a fire risk assessment should be the first line of defence against fire. It can be time consuming and feel like just another piece of red tape. But should the worst happen, you’ll be glad that you made the effort.