Fire Risk Assessment
Bill Rogerson Safety Services Ltd
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that any person who has some level of control (Responsible Person) in a non-domestic premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire.
The job of the designated Responsible Person is to ensure that all relevant fire safety tasks are conducted and that any necessary action is taken in order to prevent fires from occurring and to prevent death or injury if a fire takes place. The responsible person is, therefore, the one who needs to ensure that a valid fire risk assessment is made on the building.
For apartment or flats, the Responsible Person is usually the managing agent or landlord, although it can be a Residents’ Association member as well and is only responsible for common areas, like stairwells and corridors.
A fire risk assessment is a review undertaken of a building in order to assess its fire risk and, if necessary, offer recommendations to make the building safer.
Although every fire risk assessment is unique, the following fire prevention and fire risk factors should be checked by the assessor as part of the assessment:
- The building’s construction, layout, and use
- The nature and number of occupants, including any potentially vulnerable occupants
- Electrical equipment on the site that could be a potential source of ignition
- Whether the building has a history of any fire loss
- Defence against arson
- Smoking areas as well as prevention measures that have been taken to prevent fires
- Protection against fires that are caused by lighting
- Installed and portable heating devices that can trigger fires
- Any fire hazards that have been introduced by outside contractors or building works
- General housekeeping and key areas being kept clear of any combustible materials
- The configuration and maintenance of escape routes
- Storage arrangements for any flammable and dangerous liquids
- Emergency lighting has been properly installed and is in good working order
- Measures are in place for limiting fire spread
- Adequate means are in place to raise the alarm in the event of a fire
- Fire safety signs are in the proper locations and used correctly
- Other devices, like sprinklers, are properly installed and maintained
- The appropriate fire extinguishers are in the correct locations
- Whether or not there is evacuation drills and fire safety training on a regular basis
- Who manages the building’s fire safety and how well is it managed?
- Proper records and documentation are being kept on fire safety measures
- Correct testing procedures and maintenance are in place for fire safety systems