Fire risk assessment and the law
If you are an owner, landlord or occupier of a business or other non-domestic premises (non-domestic premises are all workplaces and commercial premises, all premises the public have access to and the common areas of a multi-occupied residential building) – you are responsible for fire safety. You are known as the ‘responsible person’.
The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests, e.g. if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property.
As the responsible person you must:
- carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
- tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
- put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
- plan for an emergency
- provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training
The most important duty of the above is to record a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment as this identifies and assesses the remaining stages.
Fire risk assessment stages
Mirroring the usual HSE 5 stages to risk assessment model the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order refers to the five stages of risk assessment as:
- Identify the fire hazards
- Identify people at risk
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
- Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly
How can we help you?
GBS Health and Safety Services employ specialist and competent fire risk assessors. Our assessors are Members of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers and are Accredited Commercial Fire Risk Assessors.
We are able to assist you with the development, documentation and implementation of a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment using industry and Fire and Rescue Service (the ‘Enforcing’ authority) recognised formats.
The risk assessment document identifies all of the areas identified in the industry specific guidance documents which can be seen here and includes the identification of sources of ignition, fuel and oxygen and how they are controlled, the physical safety protection arrangements such as compartmentation, alarm systems, emergency lighting etc, how well people are protected in the event of a fire (early warning, fire routes, etc.) and an evaluation of the suitability of the means of escape in the event of an emergency.
The assessment process also includes a review of the management of fire safety as well as maintenance and inspection details for all equipment used in the protection of people and the property.
Types of premises assessed and experience
We have successfully assessed business and premises falling into the following categories (amongst others):
|Educational establishments||Healthcare premises|
|Factories and warehouses||Student accommodation|
|Offices||Hotels and restaurants|
|Transportation facilities||Historic buildings|
|Blocks of residential accommodation||Farms and agricultural premises|
|Entertainment and leisure facilities||Food producers|
|Retail and wholesale||Motor Vehicle (sale and repair)|
|Events (including open air, large places of assembly etc.)|
We also offer additional fire related services such as fire warden / marshal training, emergency planning and Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres (DSEAR) Assessments.