Fire Risk Assessment
What is a Fire Risk Assessment?
A Fire Risk Assessment is an organised and methodical look at your premises, the activities carried out there and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those inside or nearby.
In all instances, the details of a fire risk assessment, actions to be taken, and details of anyone especially at risk must be recorded.
The aims of the risk assessment are:
- To identify the fire hazards;
- To reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm to as low as reasonably practicable;
- To determine what physical fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of people if a fire does start.
How do you carry out a fire risk assessment?
It is important that you carry out your fire risk assessment in a practical and systematic way and that you allocate enough time to do it properly. It must take the whole of your premises into account, including any outdoor locations and any rooms or areas that are rarely used. If your premises are small, you may be able to assess them as a whole. Please follow the guidance set out by the Home Office. In larger premises you may find it helpful to divide them into rooms or a series of assessments using natural boundaries.
You must appoint one or more competent persons to carry out any of the preventative and protective measures needed to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. This person could be you, an appropriately trained employee or where appropriate a third party.
Your risk assessment must demonstrate that, as far as is reasonable, you have considered the needs of all relevant people, including disabled people.
To ensure your assessments are thorough and successful, follow the Five Steps to Fire Safety Risk Assessment:
- Step 1: Fire Hazards. A fire hazard is anything that can start a fire, such as ignition sources or combustible materials.
- Step 2: People at Risk. How many people are in the premises? Are there any young, disabled, or lone workers present in the premises?
- Step 3: Evaluate and Act. How many floors and staircases are in the premises? The number and location of exits? Are fire alarms, fire exit signs, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers needed?
- Step 4: Record, Plan and Train. Your plan details what needs doing and by when. Use the checklist to make sure you have covered all areas.
- Step 5: Review. Your fire risk assessment needs regular review and updating if there are any significant changes.
For full details on the Five Steps to completing a fire safety risk assessment with a comprehensive checklist, see the guide published by the government.
Should you wish to employ the services of a professional risk assessor we would strongly recommend that you refer to the NFCC Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guidance.
The following link provides information to assist you in complying with your legislative responsibilities for Fire Safety in the Workplace.
Your local Fire Safety Office
Your local office is available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
View the fire safety legislation in full.