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Fire Risk Assessment

A fire can spread incredibly fast and take hold as quickly as 30 seconds from initial ignition.

Who needs a fire risk assessment?

You do! If you are any of the following:

  • An employer with business premises (including self-employed)
  • The owner of a premises or Landlord
  • The occupier of a premises or person in control of the premise
  • A charity or voluntary organisation with business premises
  • A contractor with a degree control over a premises you are working on
  • Or you are responsible for part of a dwelling that has any part that is used solely for business purposes.

If you fall into any of the above categories and you are the person in control you are likely to be the Responsible Person.

What are the duties of the Responsible Person?

  • To carry out (or arrange for) a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • Put in place appropriate fire safety measures and ensure they are maintained and tested
  • Inform employees and other relevant people about the risks you’ve identified
  • Put an emergency plan in place for safe evacuation
  • Provide information, fire safety instruction and training to employees and other relevant people

Why do you need a fire risk assessment?

A fire can spread incredibly fast and take hold as quickly as 30 seconds from initial ignition. Smoke spreads extremely quickly, between 15 and 90 metres per minute! Corridors and work rooms can quickly become difficult to negotiate within minutes.

The majority of companies don’t bounce back following a severe fire.

Each year, around 22,000 fires occur in workplaces around the UK. Common causes include:

  • Faulty Equipment - Electrical fires account for 33% of workplace fires.
  • Storage and Clutter – Build-up of dirt, dust and debris can cause equipment to overheat. Fire can spread very quickly through dirt and debris.
  • Human Error - Misuse of equipment and complacency in everyday tasks can easily lead to accidents occurring.
  • Arson – in West Yorkshire arson accounts for 8.9% of all crimes committed!

Article 9 (1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that:

‘The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him by or under this Order.’

The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to:

  • Identify the fire hazards and potential for a fire starting
  • Identify the people who are at risk
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the probability of a fire starting
  • limit the effects should a fire occur.
  • Identify the fire prevention measures which are in place
  • Identify the controls in place for preventing a fire spread
  • Identify the controls in place for identifying a fire and alerting occupants
  • Ensure that occupants can evacuate safely.

The Fire Safety Order requires that you give effect to arrangements for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventative measures. These are the measures that have been identified in consequence of a Risk Assessment as the general fire precautions you need to take to comply with the Fire Safety Order.

You must record the above arrangements if:

  • You employ five or more employees in your undertaking (regardless of where they are employed).
  • A licence under other legislation is in force; or
  • An alteration notice is in force requiring a record to be kept.

The Fire Risk Assessment should be reviewed at least annually by the responsible person to ensure that it remains up to date or earlier if there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid such as, but not limited to the following:

  • Any fire incident or near miss fire incident.
  • Significant changes to work practices or procedures.
  • Significant structural or material changes to the premises, or internal layout.
  • Significant changes to the processes or activities conducted at the premises.
  • Significant change in the number of people present or the characteristics of the occupants including the presence of people with some form of disability.
  • Significant change to quantities of stock and type of stock held that could contribute to fire.
  • The introduction of increase in the storage of hazardous substances and flammable substances.
  • Any change in the fire precautions in the premises.

Why choose Sentient for your fire risk assessment?

Our fire risk assessors are NEBOSH Qualified and hold a Fire Risk Assessment Qualification from the Fire Protection Association.  We can carry out fire risk assessments in a wide range of premises, including manufacturing premises, shops, warehouses, industrial units, workshops, food manufacturers, church halls, shops etc.