Fire Safety Risk Assessments

The Responsible Person (RP) of any non-domestic building must conduct a fire risk assessment and take steps to reduce or eliminate the danger of fire, according to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. A record must be kept when there are five or more workers, as well as significant findings and a definition for a Responsible Person in the above Order.

When the RP does not have control of all parts of a building and it is shared with other people, they should be informed of significant risks discovered. The person who has control (landlord, owner, or another employer etc.) has an obligation to ensure that fire safety standards are followed in the areas they administer. This may necessitate communication and collaboration between parties to guarantee coordination of fire safety provisions, fighting methods, and evacuation procedures.


Knowledge Required


In order to properly complete a fire safety risk assessment, each RP must consider his or her own situation and capabilities. Nobody knows about the business/workplace better than the RP, but if the RP is not comfortable in his or her capacity to complete their fire safety risk assessment on their own, they can have a suitably qualified or experienced individual do it on their behalf.


Definition of a Fire Hazard


When assessing fire risks, it’s crucial to understand what a fire hazard is. A fire hazard is made up of two elements: the probability of a fire happening and the severity of the resulting damage. For example, a metal fabrication workshop has a high potential for catching on fire due to the welding and cutting equipment. However, if adequate housekeeping is maintained and non combustible goods are present, then a fire is unlikely to spread, thus the impact will be minor, and therefore the risk can be considered moderate or even minimal.


In the case of a cellulose paint spray booth, an occurrence is expected because of the chemicals used and the equipment needed for the procedure. The consequences are also dire since any fire would have a quick growth, making it a very high risk.


Various techniques can be utilised to minimize these hazards, including maintaining a clean environment, particularly developed electrical equipment, and installation of equipment away from the danger and use of compressed gases in the procedures.


The Objective of a Fire Risk Assessment


The fire safety order’s objectives are to use a risk-based and adaptable approach. As a result, in order to safeguard the safety of workers, the RP must:


  • To the greatest extent feasible, identify and eliminate or reduce the risk of fire hazards causing injury as low as is reasonably practical.
  • Determine what fire safety precautions and management rules are necessary to keep people safe in the event of a fire.


This should be a simple process without much cost if the premises are constructed and maintained in accordance with building regulations and are of average risk or lower. However, if the premises do not comply with the building regulations, further direction and action will be required, depending on the degree of difficulty, size, occupancy, and potential risks.


Identifying Fire Hazards and Possible Sources of Ignition


Knowing the most common causes of fire can help you determine potential fires. A source of ignition is required for a fire to develop (heat or flame), as well as a possible source of fuel and oxygen. If the sources of ignition, fuel, and oxygen in your workplace are kept separate, removed, stopped, or reduced, the danger to people and your business will be reduced.


To do so, you must first identify possible sources of ignition, fuel, and oxygen in your organisation.


Heat and flame are two common sources of ignition in workplaces (heating or process, cooking equipment, open flames). Other heat/ignition possibilities include chemical reactions and electrical equipment.


Record Fire Safety Risk Assessment Information


When conducting a fire safety risk assessment for a facility, findings must be recorded in some cases, including any actions taken or actions still needed. On request, the enforcing authority should be allowed access to the record. When there are five or more workers (whether on-site or not) employed at the location, or when the premises are subject to licensing or registration, or when an ‘Alterations Notice’ has been published requiring that work be done, fire safety law requires information to be recorded.

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