What is a fire risk assessments?
A fire risk assessment is defined as the review of a premise to identify, evaluate, record, plan and inform for potential risks of fire. Where possible, the assessment will also provide advice to make safe or ensure contingencies are put in place.
As part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, fire risk assessments (FRA) are a legal requirement that need to be in place for a premise and completed by a competent person.
Yes. Any premises that does not constitute a single private dwelling i.e. a private home, requires a fire risk assessment to be carried out as per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This must also be carried out by a competent person.
Who is responsible for a premises fire risk assessment?
From a legal standpoint there is no specific requirements for who can be the Responsible Person (RP) of a premises. In practice the RP will often be:
- The Property owner
- The Landlord
- Facilities Manager
- Building Manager
- Risk Assessor
While the RP is responsible for ensuring that a fire risk assessment is in place, that does not mean they are the person who carries out the FRA itself.
Who is responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment?
The law does not specify requirements for who can carry out a fire risk assessment beyond that the person is capable of carrying out a suitable and sufficient assessment.
This means that under certain circumstances the responsible person for the premises may decide to carry out the fire risk assessment themselves.
If for any reason the responsible person does not feel they have the experience, understanding or capability then they should seek external assistance in the form of a professional fire risk assessor such as HT Compliance Services.
It is important to note that if you are carrying out the fire risk assessment, you are accepting personal responsibility for the fire safety of the property. Therefore it is important that you consider whether you have the relevant knowledge and/or background to complete the FRA.
There are no specific timelines for when assessments should be regularly carried out. Best practice varies from 1-4 years.
The requirements for an assessment to be redone specify that a fire risk assessment should be carried out when significant changes occur not covered by the prior assessment. These can include:
- A fire at the premises. This may result in recommendations or remedial work due to fire damage or how it started.
- New equipment
- Changes to the premises structure or layout
- Changes in the number of people at the premises regularly
- Changes in people’s needs such as disabled access
All of the above also applies to the immediate vicinity outside of the premises, not just the inside.