This week we are taking a closer look at fire safety regulations and the requirements that businesses need to adhere to.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, requires that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out on all commercial premises, and also on the communal areas of residential premises.
The Order further requires that this assessment is undertaken by a ‘competent person’. The term ‘competent person’ is not defined, but this is because the level of competency and experience required will vary dramatically between premises, dependent on the risks.
Would you have to guess at questions that ask if your fire extinguishers / alarms are appropriate and sufficient? Do you fully understand escape procedures, travel distances, building regulations and so on? If you are unsure to the answers of these questions, it may be best to seek a professional fire risk assessor to carry out this report for you. The law indeed allows for businesses to undertake their own fire-risk assessment but it still requires that the assessment is ‘sufficient’. An insufficient assessment is one of the most common failures cited in fire safety legal proceedings nowadays.
There is no fixed period for reviewing your Fire Risk Assessment – certainly it is necessary whenever there are any significant changes which could affect the fire risk, including changes to the building, staff, occupancy, activities, legislation etc. Additionally, it has become standard best practice to review the Fire Risk Assessment on an annual basis.
Some clients prefer to have a third party carry out the Review each year, as a second pair of eyes, and this is particularly relevant to larger premises or where there are frequent changes.
Even if clients carry out their own annual Reviews, it is prudent to get a third party to re-visit the Fire Risk Assessment after 5 years, so that changes in legislation and guidance can be taken into account.
Often the Review is simply a question of checking that the information recorded is still correct, that all necessary maintenance of the fire protection equipment is being carried out, and that all recommended actions have been completed or are in hand.
If you are unsure about what is required of a fire risk assessment at your premises, contact us today for more information or to book an assessment from one of our fire risk assessors. Call 01535 66 11 97 or visit our contact page.