From the 1st October 2006, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the responsible person (RP) of any non-domestic premises to carry out a fire risk assessment. A fire risk assessment includes analysing measures to reduce or eliminate the chance of a fire starting, and the dangers from fire that your premises present and for individuals in the immediate vicinity.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 also places responsibility on building owners, employers and occupiers to regularly assess fire safety procedures in their buildings and in their workplace.
When conducting a fire risk assessment you should remember these 5 points:-
- Identify fire hazards
- Identify people at risk
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
- Record your findings and prepare an emergency plan and provide necessary training
- Review and update your fire risk assessment regularly
When should you review your Fire Risk Assessment?
Although there isn’t a fixed period for reviewing your risk assessment, it’s best to continuously review and analyse the measures you have put into place, to ensure you are still working to the standard that’s been set. When considering reviewing your assessment, you should try conduct it annually (if not more often) this way you can ensure that you are fully compliant and are more able to act efficiently if there were to be a fire.
Depending on the industry you work in can depend on the frequency you review your assessment. For example, if you work within a small office with maximum 3 to 10 employees, you shouldn’t need to review your fire assessment more than annually.
Although, if your workplace is situated within a factory where there is constant growth either through employment or machinery, it’s important to review your assessment as regular as the changes you make. So each time you hire a new member of staff, review your risk assessment, if you have bought a new piece of equipment or an electrical appliance, review your risk assessment.
It’s vital to remember, if you experience a fire safety measure fail, such as a fire alarm system not working or a bulb going out on an exit sign, you should immediately review your risk assessment to take full precaution.
Why should you review your Fire Risk Assessment?
Often situations can change which could alter your existing fire risk assessment; by reviewing your assessment frequently you will always be aware of what risks could have happened if you wasn’t to annually review. For example, you may have had new electric machinery or using old machinery which wasn’t included in the risk assessment, if by chance the machinery sent heat onto a combustible surface and caused a fire, you could be liable to pay a fine or in some cases be prosecuted.
Not only do you need to consider the addition of new machinery, but changes such as alterations to your building as well as an increased number of employees – it is a possibility that one of your new employees may have a disability which makes them vulnerable, this is where responsive safety measures may need to be introduced. Building modifications could include structural alterations, changes to internal layouts, an increase of stock and/or the storage of hazardous substances.
Who can conduct Risk Assessments?
As an employer or building owner you can conduct a fire risk assessment yourself if you have a basic knowledge of fire safety and with online help of standard fire safety risk assessment guides. If you lack knowledge in fire safety or simply don’t have the time, then it is highly recommended to outsource a Health and Safety consultant to take you through the whole process.
However, using a fully trained Health and Safety consultant, with their expertise you will have a full understanding of how to analyse risks and how to reduce/eliminate them. Your health and safety consultant will also provide you with fully detailed knowledge of how to act in case of a fire, and how you can stay on top of reviewing your workplace, no matter which sector or industry you work within. This is especially important if your business is susceptible to change.
At Safety Forward, our Fire Risk Assessors are experienced IFE professionals with a pragmatic approach – carrying out fire risk assessments for businesses, apartment buildings, and communal areas required by solicitors, agents, landlords and home owners. Please contact us today on 0330 107 0165 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org