Fire Risk Assessment - The Law
What's the Law?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states:- If you employ 5 or more people, the Responsible Person at any premise must have a suitable and sufficient written fire risk assessment in place at all times which must have been completed by a competent person.
The definition of 'competent' is where a person has had sufficient training to carry out that role, this could be an employee or an outside contractor.
FRA Compliance can fulfill the role of the 'Competent Person' for you.
We will initially carry out a full site inspection survey at your premises and from this survey create the all-important suitable and sufficient written fire risk assessment report for you. The report will not only be fully comprehensive but will also be fully transparent, to ensure the Responsible Person is fully aware of the areas which have been highlighted for improvement.
Your business must have a fire risk assessment in place by law; by not having one you are not only putting everyone's lives at risk, but the punishment for not having a clear and concise fire risk assessment is severe. If that isn't enough it is also very doubtful that your insurance provider would payout in the event of a fire incident.
What is a Fire Risk Assessment?
A Fire Risk Assessment is an organised and methodical examination of your premises along with the activities carried out to establish any fire hazards and risks, and how likely it is that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premise.
A simple definition of Hazard and Risk
HAZARD - "Anything that has the potential to cause harm"
RISK - "The chance of the harm occurring"
A Fire Risk Assessment has 3 objectives
To identify all factors which may cause harm to people, property and/or the environment either during or as a result of a fire.
To consider the likelihood or chance of that harm actually happening and the possible consequences that could come from it.
To enable the Responsible Person to plan, implement and monitor the preventative and protective measures to ensure that the risks are controlled as low as reasonably possible at all times.
6 Step Process
Identify potential fire hazards.
Decide who may be in danger and note their locations.
Evaluate the risks and adequacy of current control measures.
Record significant findings and actions necessary.
Prepare an Action plan to carry out any necessary improvement measures.
Keep the Fire Risk Assessment under review.
The Risk Assessment will also take into account
Emergency routes (Walkways, travel distances, and Fire doors)
Fire Fighting Equipment (The correct Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets)
Fire Detection and warning system (Smoke, Heat, Call Points, Sounders, and Carbon Monoxide detectors)
Removal and safe storage of dangerous substances (COSHH, DSEAR)
Emergency evacuation (Fire Marshal/Wardens Phased movement)
Consideration of vulnerable people (Evacuation Chairs, PEEPS)
Providing information to persons, other than staff premise users. (At Signing In/Out)
Staff Fire Training (Suitable and sufficient, Record in the Fire Log Book, Drills)
Why can't I do the assessment myself?
You Can, However, the law clearly states that fire risk assessments are to be carried out by a 'competent person’. Producing a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment can prove very daunting and very time consuming for an untrained person and after all the effort involved, your report might not even meet the legal requirements. We know that in terms of fire insurance, loss adjusters are using the details of this clause to withhold payment (in the event of a fire) if they are not satisfied in regard to the compliance of fire risk assessment reports.
Unannounced Fire Inspections take place daily throughout the UK, failure to comply with the Fire Safety Order could well result in legal action being taken against you, resulting in a hefty fine, or up to two years imprisonment.
Whatever you decide, DON'T JUST DO NOTHING!
Remember - Fire safety doesn’t happen by accident