Workplace Fire Safety – The Importance of Carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment
As a business owner, landlord or tenant you have a legal responsibility to ensure Fire Safety rules are met within any property you own or rent. A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is an integral part of this process.
A Fire Safety Assessment is required by law for any company employing five people or more. Failure to have an FRA in place can result in prosecution or even imprisonment should a fire break out that causes loss of life.
But an FRA is more than a box-ticking exercise. It also ensures your business meets the ISO 45001 Health and Safety management standard. Thereby helping you to identify any hazards in your workplace and ensure all fire suppression equipment is tested regularly.
So in this blog, we will explore what is involved in a Fire Safety Assessment and why you should have one carried out.
Who can Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment?
There are no specific qualifications to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment. Any person can carry out an FRA in a position of responsibility. But the person should be identified and all other members of staff should be made aware of their role.
Help is available on the https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments website to help people unfamiliar with the process understand their responsibilities when carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment.
What is Involved in a Fire Risk Assessment?
If you are planning on carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment yourself you must take into account the following:
- Identify any potential fire hazards
- Identify who could be harmed in the event of a fire
- Assess the risks and consider putting controls in place
- Ensure that all reasonably practical control measures are in place
- Record any findings and develop an action plan to remedy any issues
- Review the risk assessment every 12 months
As part of the Fire Risk Assessment process, you must also ensure that any fire detection and/or suppression equipment is working correctly.
And that you have adequate evacuation plans in place should a fire break out. This includes procedures for making any site visitors or contractors aware of the relevant fire protocols in place.
Complete the Following Checklist:
- Ensure fire detection systems are tested regularly and working properly
- Ensure fire doors meet current regulations and are used correctly
- Ensure emergency routes are marked with appropriate signs
- Ensure all staff are aware of on-site fire procedures including fire exits and meeting points
- Ensure fire suppression equipment is tested and working correctly
- Ensure a fire evacuation plan is in place
- Ensure that any evacuation plan takes into account vulnerable groups including children, the disabled and the elderly
Whether working on your company’s premises or a client’s, always ensure that you familiarise yourself with the evacuation plan and fire assembly points for your place of work.