Are you conducting thorough fire risk assessments?

If you are an employer, owner, landlord, occupier or anyone else with control of a premises, you are responsible for fire safety. Conducting fire risk assessments helps to prevent fires, keeps the property and employees safe, and increases the chances that your business can recover should a costly fire happen. Keep reading for more information on how to conduct a fire risk assessment.

On 14th June, the London Fire Brigade were called to put out a fire that started in one of Grenfell Tower’s 127 flats. The fire then spread to the cladding panels on the building’s exterior. Despite the firefighters’ best efforts, 80 residents died in the fire. The tragic loss of life has far-reaching impacts and highlights the need to undertake formal fire risk assessments of your premises.

The legalities

Fire risk assessments are a legal requirement for anyone that owns property or is otherwise in control of commercial premises and other non-domestic premises, such as the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.

All UK employers with five or more employees are required to keep a written record of their fire risk assessments. While not required for smaller businesses, it is still considered best practice. The government recommends that you review your fire risk assessment annually, as well as after any significant changes to your building.

As an employer or someone responsible for a business or other non-domestic premises, you are responsible for undertaking and reviewing the fire risk assessment.

How to carry out a fire risk assessment

You can do the assessment yourself with the help of industry-specific guides from the Home Office found here.

If you do not have the expertise or time to do it yourself, you need to appoint a competent fire risk assessor to undertake the assessment on your behalf. For help choosing a fire risk assessor, follow the London Fire Brigade’s eight tips found here.

Failing to undertake a fire risk assessment or commissioning an assessor to do it for you could result in fines or imprisonment.

Follow these five basic steps to undertake a fire risk assessment:
  1. Identify fire hazards
  2. Identify who is at risk
  3. Evaluate and then remove or reduce the risks
  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training
  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment annually

For more information on fire safety and to ensure that you have the most effective cover, contact your nearest CLEAR office on:

London Office: 020 7280 3450

Horsham: 01483 274792

Leamington: 01926 420 555

Spalding: 01775 716570