Here at OJ Health and Safety, our competent health and safety advisors can provide a hassle-free fire risk assessment (FRA).
Fire Risk Assessment (FRA)
A ‘responsible person‘ is someone who has control, or a degree of control, over premises or the fire-protection systems within the premises. These are responsible for planning the Fire Risk Assessment (FRA).
For example, it could be:
- The property owner, employer, or manager of a business.
- The property owner or management agent of premises which are shared between various number of businesses or occupants.
- Individuals within a multiple occupancy building or offices, including self-employed people
- Manager of a charitable or voluntary organisation
- A contractor with a degree of control over any premises
- Person providing accommodation for paying guest’s example: a hotelier
The appointed responsible person must carry out or the appointed Competent Person must carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment of the risks of fire to their employees and others who may be affected by their work or business. Any employer who employs five or more employees should keep a formal record of any significant findings and any remedial measures which have, or maybe required. If you are the responsible person, it is your duty to ensure that the fire-risk assessment is carried out. You may appoint a Competent Person to carry out the assessment, but you are still legally responsible.
A competent person or fire risk assessor does not need to retain any specific academic qualifications but should:
- Understand the relevant fire safety legislation.
- Have appropriate knowledge, education, training, and experience in the principles of fire safety.
- Have a good understanding of fire development and the behaviour of people in fire safety.
- Have a good understand of the fire hazards, fire risks and relevant factors associated with occupants at special risk within the building type in question.
- Have appropriate training, knowledge, or experience in carrying out fire risk assessments.
- Using a Health and Safety Consultant is a good practice with their knowledge of all fire regulations.
Suitable and Sufficient
Whilst the legislation does not define suitable and sufficient it is generally considered that a fire risk assessment (FRA) should contain the following:
1. Identify any fire risks arising from or in connection with works within the property:
Attention should be paid to sources of ignition, sources of fuel and works.
2. Identify all locations of people at significant risk in case of fire:
It will be necessary to identify all the areas that persons will frequent within, whether they are employees, customers, visiting contractors etc.
3. Evaluate the risks:
- Are all existing fire safety measures within the premises adequate?
- Are all sources of fuel or ignitions controlled correctly?
- Are their adequate means for detecting fire and giving warning?
- Are their adequate means of escape in case of fire from all parts of the premises?
- Has adequate and appropriate fire-fighting equipment been provided and in good working order, and is it all suitably located?
- Is there an adequate testing and maintenance procedures in place for fire precautions within the premises?
- Have employees been adequately trained in all fire safety procedures within the premises and in the use of fire-fighting equipment
4. Record findings and action taken:
Prepare an emergency plan, inform, instruct, and provide adequate training to employees in all the fire precautions.
5. Keep the assessment under review:
Generally, the review date should be one year from the date of completion of the risk assessment; however, it may be necessary to set and review for an earlier date depending on the type of premises, processes carried out within the building, ect.
All Employers and the self-employed are expected to take reasonable steps to help themselves identify fire risks, e.g. by looking at appropriate sources of information such as legislation, and codes of practice or by reference to a competent individual like an Health and Safety Consultant .
Small premises presenting few or simple hazards, a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment can be a very straightforward process.
In many intermediate cases the fire risk assessment will need to be more sophisticated like with hot works. Some areas of the assessment may require specialist advice such as in a particularly complicated building.
Large and complex premises will require the most developed and sophisticated fire risk assessments (FRA) particularly where fire engineering solutions have been developed to overcome difficult fire safety issues.
Fire risk assessments (FRA) must also consider all those who might be affected by the undertaking whether they are employees or others such as contractors working on site. Particularly attention should be given to those individuals who are especially vulnerable, such as young persons, the elderly or those with disabilities.
Significant findings should include:
- The significant hazards identified in the assessment. That is, those hazards which might pose serious risk to workers or others who might be affected by the work activities if they were not properly controlled.
- The existing control measures in place and the extent to which they control the risks (this need not replicate details of measures more fully described in works manuals etc. but could refer to them).
- The population which may be affected by these significant risks or hazards, including any groups of employees who are especially at risk.
- Any changes to the use of an area should be documented and these changes amended within the Fire Risk Assessment.
- Are there sufficient storage cabinets for all COSHH (Controls of Substances Hazardous to Health)
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