Fire Risk Management & Guidance
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  Section A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) Methodology
  Section B Premises Details
  Section C Fire Safety Management (Legislative controls)
  Section D Hazard Identification (Ignition, Fuel & Oxygen)
  Section E Means for Giving Warning (Fire Detection & Alarm)
  Section F Means of Escape
  Section G Portable Fire Fighting Equipment (PFFE)
  Section H Fixed Installations
  Section I Arson
  Section J Maintenance and Records
  Section K Fire Emergency Action Plan
  Section L Staff Training
  Section M Works Action Plan
Section - A Risk Assessment Methodology

Fire Risk Assessments (FRA) are a legal requirement of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO).

The legislation requires the responsible person to look at (risk assess) the fire precautions within their premises. The general areas to look at are:

  • Means of detection & giving warning in case of fire
  • Means of escape
  • Means of fighting fire
  • Staff training
  • Maintenance and recording

If 5 or more people are employed, a record of the risk assessment's significant findings must be kept.

The Fire Risk Assessment's significant findings can be identified and produced in a format suitable to the premises. However a certain methodology should be followed. This methodology has been identified in the guidance documents which accompany the RRO.

The methodology described in these documents is called "The 5 steps to risk assessment."

  Step1 Identify any fire hazards
  Step2 Identify who could be harmed
  Step3 Evaluate the risks
  Step4 Record the significant findings
  Step5 Review and revise assessment
Step 1 – Identifying fire hazards

3 areas should be looked at:

  • Ignition sources – electrical, cooking, smoking, hot surfaces, arson, naked flames, etc.
  • Fuel sources – flammable solids, liquids & gases
  • Oxygen sources – Present in the air, but also from oxidising agents/chemical products, etc.
  • Note all electrical installations should be inspected and signed off by a competent person every 3 to 5 years
  • Note all gas burning equipment should be subject to an annual inspection by a technician who is registered on the Gas Safe Register. Emergency shutdown valves must be signed accordingly.
Walk around your premises and identify all areas which have the potential to contribute to a fire.
Step 2 - Identifying people at risk

If a fire was to start, look at the people who would be at risk. Do they have any special needs?

Consider: Workers, Customers, Visitors, Contractors

Pay attention to people at risk such as:

  • Disabled
  • Elderly
  • Lone workers
  • Working out of normal hours
  • People in isolated areas
Step 3 - Evaluate, remove, and protect from risks

Consider the measures needed to prevent fire by:

  • Evaluating the likelihood of a fire occurring
  • Evaluating the risk to people from a fire starting somewhere in the building
  • Removing or reducing the hazards that may cause a fire
  • Removing or reducing the risk to people from a fire

Look at the measures within your premises to protect people from fire. Are they suitable and sufficient? These measures include:

  • Fire detection and warning systems
  • Means of escape (escape routes, fire resistance, fire doors, etc)
  • Firefighting equipment
  • Signs and notices
  • Lighting (normal and emergency)
  • Staff training
  • Maintenance
Step 4 - Record, plan, instruct, inform & train

If 5 or more people are employed, or your premises are licensed, or an Alterations Notice is in force which requires you to do so, the significant findings of your risk assessment and control measures must be recorded.

A plan of "Action to be taken in an emergency" should be produced. The plan should be:

  • Based on the outcomes of your fire risk assessment
  • Appropriate to your premises
  • A plan of exactly what you want your staff to do in an emergency
  • Available to all relevant persons

All staff should be given information and instruction on what to do in an emergency.

This should be given:

  • As soon as possible after appointment
  • Regular intervals there after.

The information and instruction given must include:

  • Significant findings of your risk assessment
  • Measures in place to reduce risk
  • Action to take in the event of a fire
  • Identity of people nominated with fire safety responsibilities
  • Any special arrangements for serious imminent danger

Staff Training should include:

  • Action on discovering a fire
  • How to raise the alarm
  • Action on hearing fire alarm
  • Procedure for alerting members of the public/visitors
  • Evacuation procedure to reach the assembly point
  • Location and, when appropriate, use of fire fighting equipment
  • Importance of closing fire doors
  • Isolation of machinery
  • Reason for not using lifts (unless specifically designed for evacuation)
  • Information on specific hazards in your premises

Co-operation & Co-ordination:
In multi-occupied premises, it is important that you liaise with the other occupiers and inform them of any significant risk you have identified.

You should co-ordinate your resources to ensure your actions and working practices do not place others at risk in the event of a fire and the co-ordinated emergency plan operates effectively.

Step 5 – Review and revise assessment

An FRA is a working document, which should be reviewed and revised on a regular basis. Timescales are not set. However, as a guide, a review should be undertaken as a risk or hazard changes or as new ones are introduced to the workplace. To ensure compliance, assessments should be checked at least once every 12months.

If in any doubt, consult your health and safety advisor