Both business premises and flats are legally obliged to have a Fire Risk Assessment. One of the most important elements when it comes to ensuring the safety of premises, a Fire Risk Assessment has a key role in formulating your fire safety plans. Failure in complying with the required levels of a FRA could potentially lead to deaths and serious damages. 

What is a Fire Risk Assessment?

A Fire Risk Assessment is a review that involves identifying all the risks associated with potential fires. A FRA will reveal a clear picture of how protected the property is and how protected the occupants will be during a fire. It will also provide the required actions that need to be followed in order to secure your property and improve its safety levels. Failure in complying with the required levels of a FRA could potentially lead to deaths and serious damages. 

Do i need a fire risk assessment     

A FRA is a legal duty formulated by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (commonly known simply as the Fire Safety Order) that applied to every ‘’responsible person’’ that needs to ensure that the required safety levels are ensured.

Those who need to undertake a Fire Risk assessment are usually owners of non-domestic properties that include both public and commercial premises. Some examples are schools, care homes, warehouses, shops, as well as those businesses that provide sleeping accommodations, blocks of flats and HMOs(houses in multiple occupations).

When it comes to businesses that have more than 5 employees, the Fire Risk Assessment legislation is a requirement.

In addition, they must document all the findings resulted from a FRA in writing. For more information related to fire safety in the workplace, more information is available here.

Who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment        

Although Fire risk Assessments can be carried out by those organisations and companies that are affected by this legislation, it is important to note that the person carrying it out needs to be properly trained.

They need to know what fire risks are affecting the building and what the appropriate measurements are. 

This person should be able to 

  • Provide a concise record of all significant findings with as much detail as possible;
  • Devise a fire safety action plan when changes are required and keep a note of the actions;
  • Know how to correctly implement the action plan if needed;
  • Maintain the fire risk assessment with the latest updates;

Failure to comply with the fire risk assessment duties could result in a prison sentence that could be up to two years and well fines. Hence it is usually recommended to employ the help of specialist bodies that can carry out adequate Fire Risk Assessments. 

How often should a fire risk assessment be carried out? 

Although it usually depends on the building and its needs, a Fire Risk Assessment should be carried out every 6 to 12 months in order to check whether all the risks have been addressed.

However, there are some regulations that need to be taken into account when determining whether you require a new Fire Risk Assessment or not. A new FRA should be performed whenever:

  • The fabric of the building has changed;
  • The purpose of the building has been altered;
  • The layout of the building has also been changed.
  • Changes to the occupants or activities within premises have been made. 

Performing regular fire risk assesments is key to avoiding the most common causes of fire in the workplace. What is the main cause of fire in the hospitality industry, for example? The answer is simple – kitchen equipment. Many fires can be avoided by using precautions and following health and safety regulations. So, when is your next fire risk assessment scheduled for?