Fire risk assessment – fulfilling your safety responsibilities
We never know what to expect, but we can make sure we’re prepared for any eventuality. A fire risk report is a vital safety procedure for any non-domestic premises, and you are legally responsible to have an up-to-date fire risk assessment performed by a professional risk assessor.
We all care about making the world a safer place, but our responsibility starts closer to home. If you own a business that employs more than four people (full-time or part-time), if you own a home with more than one workplace (HMO) or public facilities, a fire safety assessment of your premises is now mandatory in the UK under the Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.
The fire safety assessment MUST be carried out by a professional fire risk report and every business must have a ‘responsible person’ – it is their responsibility to ensure that the business is acting in accordance with the assessment and that fire safety is monitored and reviewed at regular intervals.
When fire safety assessors visit you, they will work with the ‘responsible person’ to identify potential safety risks and check that you are acting in accordance with the legislation.
Fire risk assessors are well trained and carry out a thorough and comprehensive investigation. They will examine your alarm system and log book, existing fire protection equipment, emergency lighting, existing procedures and maintenance records for equipment on site, such as fire extinguishers.
The new fire safety legislation introduced in 2006 requires risk assessors to carry out a full assessment of any building used for employees, customers or members of the public – this also applies to landlords renting out apartment buildings. Fire risk assessments are designed to identify fire risks and people at risk, assess those risks, and report the results.
There is also an obligation to periodically review the risk assessment and make changes if circumstances change or new potential hazards arise – as with the initial assessment, fully trained risk assessors should be used.
A proper fire risk assessment is not just about complying with the law and keeping people (including yourself) safe – a risk assessment professional can help you manage your premises to the safest standards, which in turn can help you get a better deal on your business insurance.
Even in the unavoidable event of a fire, a thorough risk assessment will help you get better control and evacuation practices, reducing the risk of injury and death. Workplace fires cost British businesses millions of pounds each year – make sure your business is not one of them.
Although legislation requires at least one “responsible person” to assess and maintain the fire safety features on your premises, hiring a professional assessor at least once a year will put you in the best position to ensure compliance and minimize risk.
A professional fire risk assessor will work with your designated “person in charge” to thoroughly inspect all fire safety equipment, including alarms, fire extinguishers, escape routes, and emergency lighting. Any discrepancies identified by the experts will be discussed in detail with you, and you will be advised of the steps necessary to correct them.
The risk assessment report they provide after the visit can be submitted to your insurance company to demonstrate that your property has been assessed and that you are meeting your legal obligations.
Fire risk assessment specialists often book appointments on short notice, so if you don’t have a current fire risk assessment, find the phone number of a qualified fire risk assessment specialist today and schedule a visit – don’t wait until it’s too late.