A Guide to Fire Risk Assessments

Author - Emily Weekes |
Publish Date - March 30, 2020

Whatever your business, as an employer, landlord, owner, occupier or manager, you have a legal duty according to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to ensure fire safety within your business.

As part of this, it is a legal requirement to have a written fire risk assessment, also known as an FRA.
Learn more about what an FRA is, and what your responsibilities are relating to it:

Who needs a fire risk assessment?

  • Any business that has 5 or more employees must have a written fire risk assessment
  • Any premises that are visited by members of the public
  • If you are a landlord of a business premises or houses of multiple occupancy
  • If you are self-employed with business premises

This is not an optional document and is mandatory by UK law.

The importance of a fire risk assessment

A fire risk assessment is vital in minimising the likelihood of a fire. It is essential to meet your legal requirements. Failure to conform to regulations can lead to serious penalties or imprisonment.

What is a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a methodical and scheduled investigation of your premises, formed in order to ascertain the fire risks and safety levels of your surroundings.

The elements of this assessment are carried out in order to highlight the likelihood of a fire starting and the harm it could cause in certain circumstances to those in and around the area.

The main aims of the assessment are to:

  • Identify any potential risks and hazards such as cigarettes and electrical appliances
  • Reduce those risks to a level that is as low as reasonably possible
  • Evaluate what precautions need to be put in place to ensure the safety of those in and around your premises with escape routes, lighting and training

The responsibility of the fire risk assessment should be placed upon one designated individual. This is usually the employer, or another person who has control over the premises in question.

Who can do a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment must be carried out by somebody who is deemed competent, for example a person who has the necessary skills, experience and qualifications. This document will need to be deemed suitable and sufficient by the local authority. If this document is not sufficient, it could result in legal action.

What happens next?

The fire risk assessment will highlight any issues of non-compliance and recommendations will be made for improvements.

Fire risk assessments are a huge responsibility with a lot of liability resting on the Responsible Person.

If you cannot prove that you have used a competent service and product provider, you could have difficulty receiving an insurance payment if a fire was to occur.

Churches Fire & Security can provide you with a fully qualified and highly experienced fire risk assessor. All of our risk assessors are members of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers or the Institution of Fire Engineers. This means you can have peace of mind that your organisation is in safe hands, the risk of fire will be correctly identified, minimised and a plan put in place.

If you require a fire risk assessment or you would like to talk to us about regular reviews, please get in touch.

Please note that this is not legally binding advice, and you should always refer to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.