We’ve been in the business of undertaking fire risk assessments for over twenty-five years, and during that time we’ve been asked a common question regularly.
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The answer is that a fire risk assessment should be at the cornerstone of your fire safety plans and health and safety strategy. If it isn’t, you’re putting your business, premises and – most importantly – employees at risk of serious harm.
Despite this, fire risk assessments are unfortunately often overlooked, and this leads business premises open to the risk of fire and, potentially, the loss of life.
Clearly, you want to avoid this in your business, which is why a fire risk assessment should be high on your agenda.
At its core, a fire risk assessment reviews a building’s inherent fire risk and provides recommendations to make it safer, if those risks are discovered.
A common misconception about fire risk assessments is that they’re documents, but that isn’t necessarily the case. While in larger corporations they do indeed have to be ‘written down’, if your business has fewer than five occupants, it doesn’t need to be.
This doesn’t make a fire risk assessment any less of a requirement for smaller businesses, though. And, for that reason, we would always recommend that it is written down, regardless of the size of your operation or the number of employees contained within.
Fire risk assessments have to follow a few specific guidelines. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the most important:
It’s vital that your business acts on the recommendations in a timely fashion in order to keep the building safe and compliant with standards.
The law in England states that every business should have a designated person for fire safety.
That can be anyone within the business, but their task will be to ensure that the relevant fire safety duties are undertaken and that fire prevention is undertaken to ensure that injury or death don’t take place.
As you would suspect, it is therefore this person’s responsibility to ensure that the fire risk assessment is carried out.
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