Ten Things to Know About a Fire Risk Assessment

Ten Things to Know About a Fire Risk Assessment

Ten Things to Know About a Fire Risk Assessment

Fire safety is one of the most important things to have on hand when running a business. Having the right tools and techniques can keep your building safe if there is a fire.

The threat of fire is something that we often forget about in our day-to-day lives. It’s not until something goes wrong do we think of fire safety. Unfortunately, when it comes to fires, prevention is the best cure.

Here are ten important facts about fire risk assessment that may surprise you.

Purpose

A fire risk assessment is a safety inspection of a building that determines the potential for fire, and it’s often required by insurance companies before they will offer coverage. It includes an analysis of the building’s structure, maintenance, layout and the materials used in the construction.

Fire risk assessments are useful for identifying risks that could lead to a fire or other emergency situation. They can help you avoid costly damages and liability lawsuits if there is ever an accident on your property.

There are many different types of fire risk assessment methods, but all of them will include an inspection of your building’s structure and layout as well as an analysis of its contents.

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What do I need to do?

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that your building is safe. This includes:

  • Get a fire risk assessment.
  • Know what your responsibilities are.
  • Make sure you have the right extinguishers in place.
  • Keep an eye on your staff and visitors within the premises.
  • Know the first aid procedures for blazes and burns.
  • Have a fire evacuation plan ready.
  • Conduct regular training exercises with staff.
  • Ensure that all electrical wires are correctly insulated.
  • Keep up with regular maintenance inspections.

Who should carry out a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a process to identify the risks arising from fire and control those risks. The person that carries it out should have the proper training, competence and experience.

A fire risk assessment should be carried out by a competent person who has been trained in the use of the method used, such as the fire risk assessment methodology detailed in BS 476-3:2008, or similar methods such as those described in BS 6499:2001 (best practice guide), BS 5839:2008 (health, safety and welfare), ISO 29990 (software engineering) and ISO/IEC 27001 (information security).

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What must be done as a result of a fire risk assessment?

There are many things that must be done as a result of a fire risk assessment.

The first thing to do is to identify the hazards that may lead to a fire. This includes things like electrical wiring and fuel sources.

The second thing you should do is find out how these hazards can be controlled. For example, if there’s a fuel source near flammable material, you should remove it or make sure that it’s properly contained.

Once you’ve identified the hazards and found ways to control them, then you need to come up with a plan for what would happen in case of an emergency. For example, if there was an electrical fire, what would your response be? You might want to have water ready or an extinguisher on hand.

How do I write up a fire risk assessment?

If you’re responsible for the safety of your employees or visitors, then you will want to write up a fire risk assessment. A fire risk assessment is a process of identifying potential fire hazards and determining how to prevent them from turning into real fires.

To write up a fire risk assessment, start by making a list of all the potential hazards in your workplace. The more specific you can be, the better, for example, don’t just say “we have flammable materials” but rather specify what kind and how much of each material there is.

Next, think about what could happen if these hazards were ignited by an electrical spark or other ignition sources. Would they spread quickly? How many people would be affected? Would they affect only one person or multiple people at once?

Once you’ve identified all of your potential hazards and their associated risks, it’s time to determine what actions you can take to prevent them from turning into real fires. This will depend on where your company is located and what kind of business it is:

  • If it’s an office building with many computers or photocopiers.
  • If it’s a high-rise building
  • If it’s a manufacturing plant with lots of combustible materials on-site.
 

Why not use a template?

In the world of risk assessment, nothing is more important than being able to trust the work you’re doing. When it comes to fire risk assessments, that means understanding that the information you have on hand is accurate and comprehensive. And templates don’t give you that kind of confidence.

When you use a template, you’re taking shortcuts with your risk assessment—whether you realize it or not. Instead of fully investigating each property and all its features, you’re just checking off a box or two and moving on to the next one. 

And every time you do that, you’re missing something important—and putting yourself at serious risk for liability if something goes wrong. There’s no way around it: using a template means taking an incomplete approach to your job.

If this were any other industry, we’d all agree that using a template would be unacceptable—but because fire safety is so scary, people tend to think it’s okay to take shortcuts when it comes to these kinds of assessments. The truth is that there’s no way around doing thorough research when it comes to fire safety or any other kind of safety management.

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How long does it take for a fire risk assessment?

This depends on what you’re looking for. If you have a small business with only a few employees and no large assets, we can probably do the assessment in about an hour. Larger companies will likely require more time to go through everything thoroughly.

Do I need to worry about Fire Doors?

Fire doors are required in all buildings that have a fire alarm system. They’re designed to keep smoke and fire out of the building, so they’re an essential part of your building’s safety measures.

The reason for this is simple: fire spreads quickly through open spaces—and without proper barriers, it can quickly spread throughout your entire building before anyone even realizes it’s happening.

That means that if you’re not already using fire doors in your building, or if there are any holes or gaps in them, you need to address that immediately.

What if I don’t have a Fire Risk Assessment?

If you don’t have a fire risk assessment, you’re not alone. But you are leaving yourself open to a world of trouble.

A fire risk assessment is an important step in ensuring that your business is protected from the dangers of fire. It helps identify any potential risks and then addresses them with safety measures like smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, or other preventative actions.

In short: if your business doesn’t have a fire risk assessment, it’s not safe.

How often will I need to review my fire risk assessment?

The frequency of your fire risk assessment is dependent on the size of your business, the type of business and the amount of space you occupy.

If you’re a small business with limited office space and only use it for administrative purposes, you may not need to do a fire risk assessment more than once every two years. If you’re a larger business or have an open-plan office space then you may need to do this more frequently as it’s easier for fires to start and spread quickly in these types of environments.

Can I make changes to the building without carrying out a new fire risk assessment?

If you make changes to the building, it is always a good idea to carry out a new fire risk assessment.

This is because if you make any changes without carrying out the assessment, there is a risk that the new arrangements will not be compliant with fire regulations.

The most common reason for carrying out a new fire risk assessment after making changes is the installation of new doors or windows. If this has happened, then it is important to note that you may need to install additional fire-stopping materials in order to comply with safety standards.

Where can I get help with my fire risk assessment?

If you’re looking for help with your fire risk assessment, we can help! We can provide you with a comprehensive fire risk assessment that will look at your business and give you tips on how to keep it safe from the dangers of fire.

Our team has years of experience in this field, so we know what we’re doing—and we’ll make sure that your business is safe.

Contact us today to get started!

I own several buildings, how do I decide which needs to be assessed first?

To find out which of your buildings should be assessed first, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Which buildings have the highest value? If one building has a higher value than another, it may be more important to assess that building first.
  • Which buildings are more likely to be damaged in a fire? If one area of your property has more risk factors than another, it may be worth considering an initial fire risk assessment in that area. This can help you focus on areas that need immediate action. Fire strategy plan
  • Which buildings are most likely to need attention in the future? If one of your properties will require significant work in order to meet legal standards or compliance with local laws, it may be worthwhile prioritizing that building for an initial fire risk assessment. This can help you plan ahead and prepare for upcoming expenses.

A member of staff is good at writing, why don’t they write up the report for me?

Writing a risk assessment is a great way to get everyone on board with the fire safety measures you’re taking, but it’s also not something that should be done by anyone other than an experienced professional.

Why? Because it’s a long and involved process that requires expertise in fire safety, building codes, and potential hazards.

Fire risk assessments are very important and need to be done regularly.

Conclusion

A fire risk assessment is important for any kind of company or institution. It helps to make sure that there are no fires happening as a result of carelessness or malfunction, and that the entire process of conducting business and keeping your staff safe can continue.

 

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Have a Question? Give us a call on FREEPHONE:

0800 999 11 25

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) click here.
If you would like to arrange a free fire risk consultation, contact us

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Stevenage, SG1 1BP. 0800 999 11 25

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