What does a fire risk assessment entail?
Buildings should undergo a thorough examination to evaluate fire hazards and identify measures to reduce them. For business premises and residential buildings in Milton Keynes, it's imperative to conduct a fire risk assessment, leading to the formulation of fire safety plans.
If a building accommodates fewer than five occupants on a regular basis, there may not be a strict requirement to document the fire risk assessment. However, maintaining a written record is still advisable to ensure everyone understands the potential risks and to track the implementation of risk-mitigation recommendations.
In certain cases, even with a smaller number of occupants, a written assessment may be necessary if mandated by the local fire brigade or if your premises are subject to licensing requirements.
Legal obligations regarding Fire Risk Assessments.
Your fire risk assessment should undergo an annual review, and a completely fresh assessment should be conducted every five years. It's remarkable how circumstances can evolve during this time frame. The assessment should be conducted by a "competent person," which doesn't necessarily require a certified Fire Risk Assessor.
Modifications that could impact your assessment may encompass alterations to the building's structure or its intended purpose, variations in the materials present or stored on the premises, and the introduction of new employees, including those with specific needs such as limited mobility.
The content of the assessment will vary based on the specific characteristics and purpose of the building. In general, it should encompass the following elements:
Building Attributes: Description of the building's construction, layout, and intended use.
Occupants: Information about the individuals residing or working within the building.
Arson Prevention: Security measures in place to mitigate the risk of arson.
Fire Hazard Evaluation: Assessment of building use, equipment, and materials that could contribute to fire hazards.
Fire Alarm and Emergency Lighting: Evaluation of the design, installation, and maintenance of fire alarms, emergency lighting, and accessibility to escape routes.
Fire Spread Prevention: Measures implemented to prevent or slow down the propagation of fire within the building.
Fire Extinguishers: Details regarding the location and appropriate types of fire extinguishers within the premises.
Training and Drills: Information on training programs and the frequency of fire drill practices.
Building Management: Aspects related to building management, maintenance practices, and record-keeping processes.
Appoint an accountable person for the fire safety of the building.
The law mandates that every block of flats and business must have a designated 'responsible person' for the building's fire safety. Their responsibilities encompass ensuring:
A valid fire risk assessment and plan are in place.
All pertinent fire safety tasks are carried out, including fire extinguisher checks.
Necessary actions are taken to prevent fires and mitigate the risk of injury or loss of life in case of a fire.
As a small business owner in Milton Keynes, you may assume this role yourself or appoint a team member. In the case of common areas in flats, like stairwells and corridors, this responsibility typically falls to the managing agent or landlord, while residents are accountable for their own living areas.
Why are up-to-date fire risk assessments important?
Failure to have a fire risk assessment and implement suitable fire safety measures can result in legal consequences, including prosecution, fines, and in severe instances, imprisonment.
Don't take chances with your building's safety. Reach out to us for a comprehensive fire risk assessment, and rest assured that your Milton Keynes property's safety is entrusted to capable hands.