fire risk assessment

The Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005 placed new responsibilities on employers, owners and occupiers of business premises to:

1. Carry out a fire risk assessment.
2. Implement fire safety measures to minimise the risk to life from fire.
3. Keep the assessment up to date.

Fire Risk Assessment Procedure

There are five steps.

1. Identifying the fire hazards

Fire hazards centre on sources of ignition, fuel and oxygen.

Potential sources of ignition are naked flames, hot surfaces, hot work processes, friction, sparks, and arson.

Potential sources of fuel include solids, liquids and gases which may be present in the premises.

The assessment lists these potential hazards.

2. Identifying people at risk

Those at risk include employees, visitors to the premises and those who may be particularly vulnerable such as the elderly, the young and the disabled.

This part of the assessment takes into account the likely spread of any fire, heat and smoke together with the arrangements for giving warning to people should a fire occur.

The assessment includes methods of escape.

3. Evaluating the risks

Referring to steps one and two the assessment includes what steps should be taken to remove and reduce the risks.

This would include reducing possibilities of ignition, reducing the level of potential fuels and providing escape assistance.

4. Recording findings

The findings of the risk assessment should be recorded including the details of people at particular risk, whether the existing measures are adequate and, if not, what further action is required.

5. Review the assessment

The assessment should be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that it takes into account any changes which may have occurred since the assessment was made.

Further review should take place if the premises and their use are changed so that any new hazards may be considered.

Changes could include storage of additional fuels, changes in partition walls, increases in staff numbers etc.

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Who should carry out the fire risk assessment?

Many building occupiers and managers are competent to carry out fire risk assessments, particularly if the premises are small.

Those responsible for larger premises may require some professional input and this may also be necessary if the business manager has insufficient time to address the matter.

Fire certificates

The new Order abolished the requirement for businesses to have a fire certificate.

Fire certificates were formerly provided by officers of the fire service.  The Order provides for a replacement system whereby owners, occupiers and employers are responsible for such matters.

Inspection of premises

Although the Authorities will not be providing fire certificates they are now the enforcing Authorities and will introduce inspection programmes.

Failure to comply with the Order could result in a fine of up to 5,000 for each offence on summary conviction or an unlimited fine or up to two years imprisonment on conviction in a higher court.

Our fire risk assessment service includes inspection of premises and collection of information regarding staff, processes and materials before issuing an assessment report.

We also provide revised assessments either according to an agreed programme or when requested following changes to premises.

James Flynn Chartered Surveyors?

We are an independent firm of chartered surveyors and have been advising clients on all aspects of property value and condition since 1980 from our offices in London, Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.  We mainly cover the London and South East region but travel further afield when this is requested.

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To contact us please select from the appropriate area link below:

London  | Surrey | Sussex | Hampshire | Kent


 

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