Fire Safety Series – The Fire Safety Risk Assessment
So I need one?
All businesses (with some exceptions) must have a valid FSRA, to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (the regulations). In fact, it’s the cornerstone of your fire safety plans. As the responsible person you must carry out and regularly review the fire risk assessment for the premises. This will help identify what you need to do to prevent fire and to keep people safe.
If your business has more than 5 employees, then the findings of your Risk Assessment must also be set down in writing.
You can do the assessment yourself with the help of standard FSRA guides (links below). If you don’t have the expertise or time to do the assessment yourself, you need to appoint a ‘competent person’ to help you; for example a professional risk assessor. Having a thorough FSRA could mean the difference between top quality fire protection and putting your business and employees at risk.
Whether you decide to use a professional fire risk assessor or that you want to undertake the assessment yourself, you/they need to be confident to:
- Correctly identify the potential causes of fire in the business.
- Identify the people at risk.
- Assess the suitability of fire safety measures in place, such as fire alarm systems and escape routes.
- Assess the ongoing management of fire safety in the business, such as fire drills and staff training.
- Develop a fire safety action plan if changes are needed.
- Record all the significant findings.
- Implement the action plan if one is needed.
- Keep the FSRA updated on an ongoing basis.
Fire Safety Risk Assessment – So what actually needs to be assessed?
You’ll need to consider:
- Emergency routes and exits.
- Fire detection and warning systems.
- Fire fighting equipment.
- The removal or safe storage of dangerous substances.
- The buildings general emergency fire evacuation plan.
- The needs of vulnerable people, such as the elderly, young children or those with disabilities. Potentially you’ll need to draft bespoke personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for each person who cannot evacuate the building safely within the required timescale.
- Providing information to employees and other people on the premises.
- Staff fire safety training.
Fire Safety Risk Assessment Check List
The Home Office has produced a very handy guide that you can download to help you in undertaking a FSRA at your premises. You can find the Fire safety risk assessment: 5-step checklist here.
Alternatively you can download guides specific to particular types of venue. You can find these here:
- offices and shops
- factories and warehouses
- sleeping accommodation
- residential care premises
- educational premises
- small and medium places of assembly (holding 300 people or less)
- large places of assembly (i.e. holding more than 300 people)
- theatres, cinemas and similar premises
- open air events and venues
- healthcare premises
- animal premises and stables
- transport premises and facilities
- risk assessments if you work in construction
- purpose-built blocks of flats and other types of housing if you’re a landlord
We genuinely hope that this guide is useful for you and that you feel equipped to undertake your own fire safety risk assessment. If, however, you feel that you’d like professional assistance in undertaking your fire safety risk assessment, please get in touch with us as we can recommend professional assessors to you.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Leave a comment below.