Understanding Fire Risk Assessment and the Legal Guidelines

In the United Kingdom, all business premises and blocks of flats are required by law to have a fire risk assessment. A few businesses are aware of this and why it is important as a safety measure. Fire risk assessment is a cornerstone of all your fire safety plans for your building. Unfortunately, these assessments are mostly overlooked, which may lead to buildings being exposed to the undesirable risk of fire. It is therefore important to understand fire risk assessment and how to carry it out.

Fire Risk Assessment

Basically, fire risk assessment is a review taken to assess a building’s vulnerability to the risk of fire. After the assessment, recommendations are put forward to make such a building safer where necessary. There are less than 5 regular occupants in a building; there is no need for a documented fire risk assessment. However, it is advisable to have such an assessment written down because, in this way, the findings can be communicated to the concerned parties and ensure they are carried out.


Fire Risk Assessment Legal Guidelines

There are specific guidelines that have been outlined in law to be followed concerning fire risk assessments. Some of them include:

Regular Reviews

Following the original assessment, reviews are to be conducted at intervals of 12 months. After every 5 years, a new assessment must be done to capture any developments not realized in the previous major review. Whenever the fabric of a building changes or the building’s purpose is substantially altered, there is a need for a fire risk assessment.

Documentation of the Assessment

In a scenario where there are 5 or more regular occupants in a building, the premises must be assessed, and the findings are written down. Where the occupants are 5 or less, you may choose to have it written or communicated verbally. That said, certain circumstances necessitate documentation of the assessment, even if the occupants are less than 5. For instance, where the premises require a license or the fire brigade has instructed so in the event.

Recording of Findings and Taking Action

Whether the findings are written down or not, the review that assesses your premises’ fire safety must be produced, and secondly, the list of recommendations to be acted on. You must follow through with the recommendations so that your building’s safety is enhanced.

Responsibility for Fire Risk Assessment

The law requires that in every building, there must be a designated responsible person. This is the person who is accountable for fire safety. It is his or her duty to ensure the relevant fire safety duties are undertaken and every necessary action is performed to prevent fires from happening. You are a small business owner; you are responsible for your premises unless another person has been nominated for the same duty.

It is your legal right as the occupant of a building to access the fire risk assessment copy of your premises. In case you are not sure what is required of you, companies such as Thermotech Fire Protection Services can help you plan your Fire Risk assessment.

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