The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (also known as the Fire Safety Order) introduced a legal duty for ‘the responsible person’ to take all reasonable steps to ensure that fire safety levels are appropriate at all times. The main area within the Fire Safety Order, focusing on fire risk assessments opens with the following:
9.—(1) The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him by or under this Order.
This legislation applies to all non-domestic properties including commercial and public premises, such as shops, factories, warehouses and offices, but also schools, nursing homes as well as businesses providing sleeping accommodation. It also applies to sheltered housing as well as the communal areas of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs); though not to the individual dwellings within the HMO.
For businesses employing 5 or more persons, there is a legal requirement to not only carry out a fire assessment, but to document all the findings. The Assessment can be carried out by the responsible person or you can consult a Fire Expert from OJ Safety to undertake it for you. There are official fire risk assessment help guides available and FRA forms can be downloaded for free from a number of sources.
The person carrying out the assessment must have the sufficient competency to risk assess the premises adequate and advice on the necessary remedial actions required. Failure to do this may lead to punishment due to failing to meet your duties in relation to the fire safety order and could lead to a prison sentence of up to two years, as well as a unlimited fines. Therefore, if you have doubts as to your ability to carry out an FRA it is highly recommended to engage the services of a professional fire risk assessor to ensure you comply to all relevant regulations. This is where OJ Safety can help.
Areas that need to be considered in almost all fire risk assessments are fire detection systems, emergency refuse areas and escape routes (including evacuation plans), fire-fighting equipment and the internal training mechanisms in place.
Fire risk assessments should be undertaken at least annually and also any changes to the occupancy or activities within building must be reflected in the fire risk assessment, meaning the document is live and needs to be reviewed regularly.
If you are unsure complete our form and we can advise you of your requirements and quote to undertake if necessary.