How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessments

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessments

One of the main legal requirements to consider when opening a new business is the fire safety issue. If you happen to be an employer, business owner, occupier, or landlord you are responsible for the fire safety of your workers, public and anyone who could be affected. Usually the duty holder or business owner is also considered by the Fire Safety Order to be the “responsible person” for the fire safety of any non- domestic premises.


Complying with fire regulations and making your business premises safe is very important. It can reduce the cost of public and building liability insurances, and also by minimizing the risk of fire certainly makes everybody's life easier… Trying to avoid and reduce costs in regard of fire safety is not the correct way of doing things, mainly because most fires could be effectively prevented. For example, most fires start due to failures in the electric system of the building, so even if your business doesn’t involve the direct use of fire or flammable substances, fire precautions should be followed and obeyed by everybody, even in the so called “low risk environments” such as shops and offices. We are not just talking about workshops and higher risk places than office buildings.

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

Who can conduct a fire risk assessment?
Anyone who is the responsible person for fire safety of non- domestic premises and employs five or more people should keep a written record of all fire risk assessments. Fire risk assessments are usually expected to be conducted by the responsible person, depending on the difficulty and the business activity there are many duty holders who successfully manage to do it themselves. The approach should be exactly the same as doing a risk assessment for any other kind of job; however some additional reading and knowledge of fire safety regulations might be required. Very often duty holders delegate that job to a professional safety expert (ideally professional fire safety expert), naming him or her as their “competent person”. Usually the local fire and rescue authority should be able to provide advice about if the risk assessment has been done appropriately, but it is illegal for them to carry out the assessment for you.

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

1. Identifying the hazards.
There are three things needed for a fire to start and should be considered as hazards- a source of ignition (heaters, lighting, naked flames, electrical equipment, cigarettes, matches, anything else that can get very hot and cause sparks), a source of fuel (wood, paper, plastic, rubber, foam, packaging materials, furniture, rubbish) and oxygen.
2. People whom would be at risk consider especially disabled workers and/ or members of the public.
3. Evaluate, remove or minimize the risks. As in every risk assessment identifying the level of danger and possibility of the hazard to occur is essential.

When conducting a fire risk assessment you should think about the probabilities and what type of fire the risk could lead to and try to remove or change it accordingly: level 1 fire hazard, level 2 small contained fire, level 3 significant fire, level 4 major fire, level 5 major fire with risks of fatalities. Anything significant should be unacceptable and it doesn’t matter how important an item, machine or work process is for your business, if there is a chance of it causing a fire of level 3, 4 or 5 it should be removed or changed.
4. Having appropriate fire exits and fire extinguishers and provide some training for the employees or occupiers on what to do and how to use them in case of emergency. Keeping fire exits clearly marked and unobstructed at all times, conducting regular drills. Depending on your business activity you should provide the correct fire extinguishers.
5. A good standard of general cleanliness and tidiness, especially when disposing off rubbish or storing potentially flammable substances.
6. Keep copies and make regular reviews of all your fire risk assessments. Reviews are very important when changing work procedures and really useful when conducting a safety induction for new staff members.

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

If you would like more advice please call us on 0845 519 9059 or visit www.safe2use.com

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