There is a legal duty on the ‘Responsible Person’ that all buildings where persons are employed to work, or where members of the public visit, are required by law to have a fire risk assessment completed by a ‘competent’ person. If there are 5 or more employees, the risk assessment must be documented.

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Overview of Fire Risk Assessment Services

The fire risk assessment should identify any ‘significant finds’ and fire risks to the occupiers or relevant persons in the building. The report should also contain an ‘action plan’ to address any risks and to either remove these risks or reduce them down to an acceptable level.

The fire risk assessment must cover as a minimum the following areas:

1. Ignition sources
2. Combustible materials
3. Prevention and management
4. Means of escape
5. Fire Service operational facilities

The ‘action plan’ must be kept up to date following any actions addressed, and reference to these actions must be documented.

The fire risk assessment must be reviewed on a regular basis, and any changes to the buildings structure, layout, or occupancy type, will require a review of the original fire risk assessment. 

Our team of highly experienced and skilled fire risk assessors are available to carry out this service for you. They all have many years in the fire and rescue services, so have the practical experience and knowledge, to ensure that your assessment is ‘suitable and sufficient’ as required by the law. We have worked with many UK fire and rescue services to ensure our fire risk assessments are fully compliant and can offer this service on a daily rate or per building or group of buildings. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Fire Risk Assessment

Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions.

Does a fire risk assessment have to be completed annually?

Not necessarily. If your premises and working practices haven’t changed then a review is not necessary annually, however a number of Fire Services are recommending annual reviews, particularly in sleep accommodation such as residential and nursing care homes, hospitals, hotels and boarding houses. The regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005 states that fire risk assessments should be reviewed regularly but doesn’t state a time period.

Can I carry out my own fire risk assessment?

Yes, if you are confident and competent, depending on the size and complexity of your premises. If you are unsure of any aspect then you should seek professional advice. There are Government issued guidance documents available to help, but unless you are confident in following these and have an understanding of the behaviour of fire it is always worth contacting an expert.

Does every building need a fire risk assessment?

The majority of buildings in the UK require a fire risk assessment. Any building where persons are employed to work, or where members of the public visit, requires a fire risk assessment carrying out. Where there are five or more employees the fire risk assessment must be documented. There are a variety of fire risk assessment templates that you can download off the internet, the common one used by a lot of fire risk assessors is called PAS 79 and can be found on a simple search on Google.

What are the qualifications I should look for when selecting a fire risk assessor to work on my behalf?

The institute of fire engineers is the most widely respected organisation outside of the fire and rescue services. There are two main qualifications by examination that you should look for. These are Graduate (GIFireE) and Member (MIFireE) — both are carried by people who have taken a range of examinations covering the whole sphere of fire safety. Other organisations such as NEBOSH also offer qualifications in fire safety. However, it is not just the examinations and qualifications these individuals possess but their experience in your particular sector that is vital. As evidence of this you can ask to see previous reports they have completed and in what sector they are ‘competent’.

If I don’t have a fire risk assessment in place, does that mean I am breaking the law, or is it just a recommendation?

You are breaking the law if you do not have a fire risk assessment and you are a business owner/occupier of a premises where persons are working or members of the public visit. There are cases now documented with the level of legal fines advised for your information. The amount of legal fine can now also be linked to a percentage of the turnover of your business and there is also the possibility of serving a jail sentance too.