Fire Risk Assessments Requirements
Fire Risk Assessments – Did you know that any organization employing more than 5 people – whether commercial or not for profit – is obliged by law to complete a written and specific Fire Risk Assessments on an annual basis? Failure to meet this basic requirement could result in a fine of thousands of pounds, or in extreme cases, a custodial sentence for the owners of the business. When did your company last complete a written fire risk assessment?
What is a Fire Risk Assessments?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) states that all non-domestic premises housing 5+ people must review the following on an annual basis:
- Your current fire prevention measures (particularly in relation to storage, smoking, flammable/combustible substances, machinery and equipment and general housekeeping)
- How well you could communicate to those onsite in the event of a fire (i.e., fire detection systems, alarms, signage, emergency lighting)
- Your escape routes – Are there clear escape paths? Do you complete regular fire drills? Do you have any vulnerable staff with special escape requirements?
- How well you could confine a fire
- How well you could suppress a fire
- The level of awareness and training among your staff in terms of what to do in the event of a fire – i.e., fire training, fire drills, fire tests etc
On an annual basis, you are obliged to consider each of the above in light of your current systems, and rate each according to the level of risk. If the risk identified in any area is too high, you then need to put an action plan in place to reduce the risk (with timescales and lines of responsibility). You should consider potential improvements and maintenance requirements, as well as future training needs. Your findings must be documented, and these records retained for inspection and review purposes.
Who can complete fire risk assessments?
A competent individual, whether a trained employee or an outside contractor. The RRO clearly states that someone is classed as competent if they have sufficient training skills and knowledge to carry out the task at hand. The larger or more difficult the building, the greater the required level, training and experience that is required of the assessor.
Who needs to ensure a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is in place?
Typically it is a Director, Manager or Owner of a company who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that a documented Fire Risk Assessment has been completed by a competent person on an annual basis. If this ‘Responsible Person’ fails in their duties, they can expect a substantial fine or, in extreme cases, a custodial sentence.
What is the Fire Risk Assessment designed to achieve?
Only 7% of small and medium sized business will still be trading 2 years after a serious fire. So while the implementation of the FRA is necessary to ensure that you have considered the best possible means by which to protect your employees and premises (and addressed any issues which might prohibit this), from a commercial perspective, it is also vital in terms of safeguarding the future of your business. The Fire Risk Assessment is specifically designed to ensure you regularly review the risk to your buildings and premises, and act upon any issues identified.
The FRA is similar in many ways to an MOT on a car – you have your car inspected by a trained professional on an annual basis, and if it is found to be safe and compliant with current regulations, you receive an MOT certificate. An FRA is very similar. A competent, trained individual will inspect your buildings, working practices, customer and staff activities and communications, and provide a detailed report on where you comply with The Regulatory (Fire Safety) Regulations 2005 (RRO), and where you do not, highlighting any areas of required improvement.
How can FireCare help?
Are you convinced that you have a competent individual – with all of the required training, knowledge and skills – on hand to complete the FRA on your behalf? Are you willing to risk a large fine and possibly imprisonment by relying on someone who is not 100% competent? For those not willing to take this risk, FireCare are committed to completing the Risk Assessment on your behalf. Our trained assessors will examine your premises and processes, and provide you with all of the information and recommendations required to stay safe and legal.
For more information and to understand a little more about what a FRA involves, click here to obtain your FREE business owners’ guide to understanding the Fire Safety legislation.– Click here to obtain your FREE guide to Fire Risk Assessments
If you have a competent and skilled employee who is willing to undertake the FRA on your company’s behalf, and would like some ideas on what areas of the business you should be reviewing, download our FREE Fire Risk Assessment template.– Click here to obtain your FREE Fire Risk Assessment Template
Fifteen Minutes to Fire Safety – OUR FREE HEALTHCHECK
Can you spare just 15 minutes to ensure the safety of your premises and staff? More pertinently, can you afford not to? In the time it takes you to drink a cup of coffee, we will advise whether your business is compliant with current fire safety legislation, and recommend ways in which you could make savings. There’s no charge, and no obligation to use FireCare – we will simply give you the benefit of our unbiased, expert advice, so that you can make informed decisions which protect your business. Contact us today to arrange your Healthcheck.