How to Conduct Fire Risk Assessments
Why carry one out?
A fire risk assessment will:
• Form the basis of your fire safety plan
• Ensure you comply with the Fire Safety Order
• Protect your business and everyone in it
Who can conduct fire risk assessments?
It is your responsibility to ensure that your risk assessment has been done. However, it can be conducted by a trained member of staff. Trained staff fire marshals will be qualified.
Alternatively, you can hire an external risk assessor.
Choosing a fire risk assessment company
When looking at fire risk assessment companies, here are some things to look out for:
• Are they BAFE registered or BSEN certified?
• Do they have adequate insurance?
• What other certification do they have?
Hiring a risk assessment company will ensure it is conducted professionally and objectively.
The 5 phase risk assessment
If you choose to do it yourself, use the 5 phase risk assessment to make it easy.
1. Identify your hazards
• Think of the fire triangle
– Have you found anything that could burn?
– Are there any sources of oxygen?
– Are there any sources or potential sources of heat?
2. Who is at risk?
• All employees and site visitors are at some risk
• Then there are those who have an increased risk….
– Are there any children, elderly or disabled people?
– Does anybody use more flammable substances?
– Are there any staff members who work in isolation?
3. Evaluate and act
• Remove and reduce risks
– Isolate heat and fuel
– Remove or secure fuel an arsonist could use
– Replace flammable items for less flammable ones
– Implement safe policies, for example, a safe smoking policy
• Create a fire plan
– How will you and others raise the alarm?
– Develop an emergency evacuation plan
– Who will call the fire service?
– How will you stop it from spreading?
4. Record, plan and train
• Record your findings and the action you took
• Create a fire plan and make sure everyone knows their role
• Train staff and conduct fire drills so everyone can rehearse their role
• Keep your risk assessment under regular review
• Update it whenever:
– You use new or different substances
– There has been a near miss or incident
– There’s been a change to your building
– There has been a change to your working procedures or practices