FIRE RISK ASSESSMENTS
Who's responsible for fire safety?
You're responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you're:
- an employer
- the owner
- the landlord
- an occupier
- anyone else with control of the premises, for example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor
You're known as the ‘responsible person'. If there's more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities.
The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests, for example if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property.
As the responsible person you must:
- carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
- tell staff or their representatives about the risks you've identified
- put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
- plan for an emergency
- provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training
Non-domestic premises are:
- all workplaces and commercial premises
- all premises the public have access to
- the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings
In shared premises it's likely there'll be more than one responsible person. You'll need to co-ordinate your fire safety plans to make sure people on or around the premises are safe.
For common or shared areas, the responsible person is the landlord, freeholder or managing agent.
Alterations, extensions and new buildings
When building new premises or doing building work on existing premises, you must comply with building regulations. This includes designing fire safety into the proposed building or extension.
Penalties and enforcement
You could be fined or go to prison if you don't follow fire safety regulations .
Local fire and rescue authorities inspect premises and can issue fire safety notices telling you about changes you need to make.
Fire risk assessments
As the responsible person you must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep people safe.
You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people.
Carrying out the assessment
- Identify the 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 the fire risk assessment regularly.
You'll need to consider:
- emergency routes and exits
- fire detection and warning systems
- fire fighting equipment
- the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
- an emergency fire evacuation plan
- the needs of vulnerable people, for example the elderly, young children or those with disabilities
- providing information to employees and other people on the premises
- staff fire safety training
Help with the assessment
You can do the fire risk assessment yourself with the help of standard fire safety risk assessment guides.
If you don't have the expertise or time to do the fire risk assessment yourself you need to appoint a ‘competent person' to help, for example a professional risk assessor.
Construction Safety (CS) Ltd are professional risk assessors, holding membership of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) and certificated to the BAFE Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment (SP205) scheme. This scheme has been developed by BAFE with industry experts committed to providing quality guidance in relation to fire safety primarily emphasising the importance of fire risk assessments.
As a BAFE registered fire risk assessment provider, our main purpose is to help reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring to a minimum and providing important information/actions for the person responsible for fire safety to carry out ensuring a safe risk monitored environment.
Contact us today if you need help with your fire risk assessment(s), and we'll be happy to provide a no-obligation quotation.