Fire risk assessments are important to identify all the fire hazards and risks on your premises. Any identified risks should then be looked at and decided whether they are acceptable or whether you might need to take action to limit some potential risks.
In this guide, we are going to explain to you the process of a fire risk assessment and inform you of any queries or questions you may have on this topic.
What Is a Fire Risk Assessment?
A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for commercial premises to identify potential fire risks on your premises in the event of a fire. It is the law to arrange a fire risk assessment on your business premises - this includes communal areas of houses and flats that have multiple occupants too.
Who Should Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment
A fire risk assessment should be carried out by someone who has had sufficient training, this must be someone who has either good experience and/or knowledge on the topic of fire safety.
Can I Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment Myself?
Yes, it is possible to carry out a fire risk assessment yourself. There are two main key aspects of the legislation that you need to make sure you cover before you do so. Firstly, a fire risk assessment must be completed by a ‘Competent Person’.
The fire risk assessment must also be ‘Suitable & Sufficient’, which means you must take into consideration all of the fire safety hazards, the people at risk and the safety arrangements in place. All parts of the risk assessment should also be documented to make it ‘Suitable & Sufficient.’
How Much Does a Fire Risk Assessment Cost?
Sometimes it is better to get an expert to do a fire risk assessment, if you are not confident enough to do one yourself, especially if the size of the premise is large or complicated then it might be time to pay for a fire risk assessment instead.
A fire risk assessment cost will depend on a few different factors and there are several costs involved in a fire risk assessment depending on the type of building you have and the size of it.
Each fire risk assessment will be unique due to every building being different and therefore has its own unique factors to take into consideration. This is when it is better to use a professional to make sure all the correct risk checks have been carried out.
The cost of a fire risk assessment can range anywhere between £150 and £1000, the lower end of the scale will be for low-level buildings and the higher price bracket will be for buildings with more factors and things to consider for example bigger buildings, multi-store buildings or interconnected.
To give you a better idea, a small business premises such as a small shop, cafe or hairdresser could cost an average of around £300.
Steps to a Fire Risk Assessment
Whether you are carrying out a fire risk assessment yourself or if you get a professional fire risk assessor in, it is worth knowing the process of a fire risk assessment.
People and Fire Hazards
Identify people at risk and why they are at risk. This is the priority as the people inside a building are the reason you are carrying out the fire risk assessment in the first place. Next identify all potential fuel, ignition and oxygen sources in the building.
Evaluate the Risk
Make sure you have regular drills and that all people in the building are given appropriate training and instruction. Reduce any potential fire-starting risks to minimise the risk of a fire and have the necessary amount of extinguishers visible with instructions and have staff trained on how to use them.
Escape routes are essential, they should be visible and guide people out of a building correctly and as efficiently as possible.
Backup lighting and readable signs should be noted and you do regular checks of the fire fighting safety equipment and fire alarms. Any tests should then be logged to make sure they are monitored and regularly taken.
Record and Revise
You will need to record your significant findings in your assessment and the records of this should be available for inspection by an enforcing authority.
You will need to revise your risk assessment whenever you suspect there to be a reason that your assessment is no longer valid or if there has been a significant change or alteration to your premise.
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