Understanding Fire Risk Assessments
Posted on 25th February 2022
You don’t need to commission a specialist to carry out a fire risk assessment. If your workplace is small, you or a member of your team can carry out the assessment for your company. However, the person completing it must be trained and up to date with knowledge of the latest legislation. They must also understand what’s required to assess a place of work for fire risks and hazards.
If there's a fire and you haven't met your legal duties to keep people safe, you could be fined or even spend time in prison.
If there are five or more employees working at your premises, you must keep a written record of your assessment, but it’s a good idea to document your assessment and what you have done to minimise risks anyway, however many people work in your building.
The purpose of a fire risk assessment
Of course, a fire could destroy your premises, equipment, and stock and your business could come to a standstill. However, the most important concern is what would happen to anyone in the building if there was a fire.
Your assessment will identify areas that are or might become a fire hazard, so that you can address them and implement strategies to minimise the risks they represent for people and property. This might include installing a fire alarm system and emergency lighting, for example.
You should review your assessment regularly and whenever significant changes have been made that could have an impact such as installing new equipment or building work, for example.
How to do a Fire Risk Assessment
Generally, there are five key steps:
identify fire hazards
identify people at risk
evaluate, remove, or reduce the risks
record your findings, prepare an emergency plan, and provide training
review and update your fire risk assessment regularly.
Your local fire service can inspect your premises and if they have concerns about safety, or you haven't done an assessment, you could be fined. If people are at risk, they might close your business until you can make it safe for employees and members of the public.
If you would like to arrange a Fire Risk Assessment for your premises, please get in touch.
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