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Fire Risk Assessments - What are the requirements and when should they be done?

Following the Grenfell Tower investigation there has been a lot of coverage and attention on Fire Risk Assessments. We have looked at what your obligations are to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and how often it should be carried out.

Your requirements

Employers are under a legal obligation to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Even where premises are unoccupied you have an obligation under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out.

This states and requires evidence of the following:

  • Measures to reduce the risk of fire on the premises and the risk of the spread of fire on the premises.
  • Measures in relation to the means of escape from the premises.
  • Measures for securing that, at all material times, the means of escape can be safely and effectively used.
  • Measures in relation to the means for fighting fires on the premises.
  • Measures in relation to the means for detecting fire on the premises and giving warning in case of fire on the premises; and
  • Measures in relation to the arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire on the premises.

What a Fire Risk Assessment should include?

A Fire Risk Assessment should represent a judgment of the foreseeable risks and preventative measures. It would not be complete until the overall risk has been identified.

It should take into account the analysis, processes and control measures that have been implemented to prevent loss, danger or injury in the workplace.

Significant findings should be recorded and where, if necessary remedial action may need to be taken. Each building/premises/area will differ and each will therefore require a bespoke solution.

How often should you do Fire Risk Assessments?

It is mandatory that Fire Risk Assessments are kept up-to-date and reviewed annually, in particular if;

  • There is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid
  • There has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates including special technical and organisational measures, organisation of the work premises where it undergoes significant changes in the building or conversions and where changes to an assessment are required as a result of any such review.

Further comprehensive Fire Risk Assessments would be only be required where there has been structural alterations, typically relevant when building works have been undertaken on a site.

Who should carry out the Fire Risk Assessment?

The ‘Competent Person’ should arrange the Fire Risk Assessment. The Assessment should be carried out by a specialist qualified Fire Assessor. The Competent Person is then responsible for making any amendments. If you outsource your Competent Person Responsibility, then it would be the person acting as your Competent Person. For example, as part of our main Health and Safety SLA we act as the Competent Person and carry out Fire Risk Assessments for clients.

If you would like information about Fire Risk Assessments, acting as a Competent Person or further details about our Health and Safety SLA, please get in touch on 01924 827869. We also are able to provide on-site Fire Warden Training as well as other Health and Safety courses including Conducting Risk Assessments and COSHH.

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