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Do I need a fire risk assessment?

Safety Advisors

Are you unsure if you need a fire risk assessment of your business or other non-domestic premises?

Safety Advisors like to keep things simple. With this straight talking, informative blog, we answer all your questions.

Who is responsible for Fire Safety?

An employer. The owner. The landlord. An occupier.

Anyone else with control of the premises, eg the facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor.

Your Responsibilities: Carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly.

Tell staff about the risks you have identified.

Put appropriate fire safety measures in place & maintain them.

Plan for an emergency.

Provide staff with information, fire safety instructions and training.

As the responsible person you must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises.

This assessment will identify what you need to do to prevent fire, mitigate the effects of a fire and keep employees and other people safe.

You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your organisation has 5 or more people.

Review

There is no timescale stipulated for a fire risk assessment to be reviewed however an annual review is considered, good practice, under normal situations.

There are a number of instances when a fire risk assessment may need to be reviewed more frequently and we list some of these below:

Changes in layout

Fire exit routes and the availability of fire exits can change e.g. during construction work.

A temporary fire assessment and fire management plan may have to be introduced to cover the period of the works.

Personnel changes

Changes in the number of persons using the fire exit could impact on how quickly persons can escape in a fire situation.

Too many people using too small an exit can slow the evacuation and cause crushing and other injuries.

Changes in operation

Changes in shift patterns, substances used, changes in processes can all have an impact on the suitability of a fire risk assessment.

If shift patterns change are there enough fire marshals on duty etc.?

Following an incident Fire risk assessments should be reviewed following an incident, this is very important in preventing a further incident.

Additional hazards introduced Temporary or permanent changes in the operations such as additional plant introduced can have a significant effect on the emergency preparedness of a building.