Are Fire Risk Assessments a legal requirement in the UK?
The short answer to this question is yes, fire risk assessments are a legal requirement in the UK.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force in October 2006, states that the ‘responsible person' must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly.
The responsible person can be the employer, owner, occupier or any other person who has control over part or all of the premises. If the premises are leased, then the landlord and tenant may both have responsibility for fire safety.
The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to identify any potential fire hazards and to make sure that appropriate measures are in place to reduce the risks. It should also identify what actions should be taken should any hazards be found.
What is a fire safety risk assessment?
A fire safety risk assessment is a process of identifying, evaluating and controlling the risks arising from fire and explosion hazards in the workplace.
The purpose of a fire safety risk assessment is to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken to protect people, property and business operations from the consequences of fire and explosion.
What does the law say about fire risk assessments?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the responsible person in charge of non-domestic premises to carry out a fire risk assessment and to keep it up to date. The purpose of the fire risk assessment is to identify the risks in the premises and to take reasonable steps to reduce or eliminate those risks.
What are the 5 main components of a fire risk assessment?
As stated in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, a fire risk assessment must consider the following five key components:
Identify the fire hazards
Identify people at risk
Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
Record your findings
Review and update the assessment regularly
Who is responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment?
The person who is responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment will depend on the type of premises and the nature of the business.
In most cases, it will be the owner or occupier of the premises. If the premises are leased, then the landlord and tenant may both have responsibility for fire safety.
If the responsible person does not feel capable of carrying out the fire risk assessment to the standards required by law, they should seek out a suitably qualified professional.
How often is a fire risk assessment required?
A fire risk assessment should be reviewed as per the Fire Risk Assessor's advice, but it's best to review it more frequently. If there are significant changes to the premises or the way they are used, then the assessment should be updated to reflect these changes.
This is because new hazards can arise over time and the risks can change, for example:
When the premises has changed.
When the way the premises are used has changed.
When there are changes to the hazards present.
When there are changes to the people who use the premises.
What are the consequences of not carrying out a fire risk assessment?
The consequences of not carrying out a fire risk assessment can be severe.
If a fire occurs and it is found that no assessment had been carried out, or that the assessment was not up to date, then the responsible person may be liable for prosecution. In the event of a fire, the responsible person may also be liable for any damages or injuries that occur.
Fire risk assessments are a vital part of fire safety in the workplace. They help to identify potential fire hazards and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to reduce the risks. If you are responsible for a business or other non-domestic premises, it is important that you understand your legal obligations and make sure that you carry out a fire risk assessment on a regular basis.
What buildings require a fire risk assessment?
A fire risk assessment is required for all non-domestic premises in the UK, including:
Offices and workplaces
Shops and retail premises
Factories and warehouses
Hotels and guesthouses
Pubs, clubs and restaurants
Places of worship
Leisure centres and gyms
Nursing homes and hospitals
Schools, colleges and universities
Do I need a fire risk assessment if I have a home business?
If you run a business from your home, then you may be exempt from the requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment.
However, it is always advisable to carry out an assessment in order to ensure the safety of your property and possessions and that appropriate fire safety measures are in place.
As a general rule, if you employ people or have paying guests, then you will need to carry out a fire risk assessment. If you are unsure whether you need an assessment, you can contact your local fire authority for advice.
Who can legally carry out a risk assessment?
There is no legal requirement for a fire risk assessor to be accredited or qualified. However, it is generally recommended that you use the services of a professional assessor who has the experience and knowledge to carry out a thorough assessment that will meet the required standards.
We would recommend choosing a fire risk assessor from one of the national accredited registers, either the IFE or the IFSM register.
What should I do if I need help with my fire risk assessment?
If you are unsure about how to carry out a fire risk assessment, or if you need help to identify the fire safety risks in your premises, then you can contact a professional assessor for advice.
At Eyton Solutions, we offer a comprehensive fire risk assessment service that can help you to identify and control the risks in your workplace. With years of experience in the fire safety industry, our team of experts can provide you with the advice and support you need to ensure that your premises are safe from fire and compliant with the law. For more information about our services, please contact us today.