Fire Risk Assessments

All commercial properties and business premises are required by law to have a fire risk assessment. Despite this, not everyone has a good understanding of this vital safety measure. Property owners often ask, "What is a fire risk assessment, and who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment?".

A fire risk assessment should be at the centre of your fire safety plan, and failure to carry it out effectively exposes your building and the people who use it to fire and loss of life. It is recommended that all fire risk assessments are recorded, however you must record the findings of your fire risk assessment if you are a landlord, have 5 or more employees, or are part of a shared premises.

What Is A Fire Risk Assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a critical investigation that evaluates the overall risk from fire to building occupants. It identifies possible causes of fire, such as potential ignition sources or processes. It also considers the; fire exits, escape routes, fire doors, fire alarms, lighting, occupancy, activities, and the overall management arrangements in place.

An action plan should then be produced to limit as far as reasonably practicable any risks highlighted in the assessment, such as reducing the likelihood of fire, of fire spread, and ensuring that any necessary fire safety measures are in place and well-maintained.

Who Is Responsible For Completing A Fire Risk Assessment?

Under Article 3 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the RRO), the responsible party for completing a fire risk assessment is the property manager, owner, or leaseholder. Simply put, if you're responsible for a building (or part of a building, e.g a tenant), it's your duty to make sure it is carried out for your areas of responsibility.

Ever since the Grenfell fire in 2017 that killed 71 people, fire safety has been at the forefront of many minds of law makers, industry bodies, and building owners. It prompted the development of the Fire Safety Act 2021 which emphasises the onus on the building owners to ensure that those carrying out fire risk assessments are suitably competent to do so.

Who Can Carry Out A Fire Risk Assessment?

In very small, simple premises, building owners may wish to carry out their own fire risk assessment, and in some circumstances, this may be suitable. However, as the complexity of a building increases, as does the need to prove that you have the skills, knowledge, training, and experience which qualifies you to carry out such a critical assessment.

Any person carrying out a fire risk assessment must be able to show a working understanding of the law, standards, and guidance applicable to them. This is why, even in simple premises, many find peace of mind in appointing a professional such as Arion.

Arion assessors are well-trained, knowledgeable, highly experienced professionals who maintain continual professional development, ensuring that we are up to date with regulations, guidance, and standards. We are members of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers which—as a group—are consulted on upcoming legislation and guidance. As such, we can anticipate changes in industry, and prepare you before you are caught out.

As competent fire risk assessors, we can carry out a comprehensive fire risk assessment, tailored to your property and business needs. We also provide a wide range of supporting fire safety services which allow us to offer specific and cost-effective solutions rather than simply identifying areas of non-compliance.

We will support you for the life of the document, offering advice where needed, providing ongoing fire consultancy services, and reviewing the fire risk assessment as necessary.

 

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