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Fire risk assessment

Fire Risk Assessment

The first step for controlling the risk from fire

A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement by law following the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 if you have five or more employees. The responsible person for the premises must ensure that a fire risk assessment (FRA) is carried out and reviewed at least annually.

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The Responsible Person

Who is Responsible for Fire Risk Assessment?

As stated in the Fire Safety Order, the responsible person is the employer or ‘the person who has control of the premises.’ In some cases, the responsible person may be the facilities manager or the occupier. If the responsible person is not known to you, then it is possible that fire safety responsibilities are not being undertaken safely per UK statutory law.

 

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What is a Fire Risk Assessment?

A fire risk assessment is an audit of premises and the personnel that use them, emphasising fire prevention. It is essential to keep people safe that potential fire risks are eliminated or mitigated through the effective use of fire safety precautions.

 

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Definition of Responsible Person

Provided below is a breakdown of the meaning of the responsible person:

Definition of “responsible person.”

  1. In this Order, “responsible person” means—

(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;

(b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)—

(i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

(ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking.

Fire Risk Assessment responsibility

It is vitally important that the responsible person for fire safety understands their duties under the law. If you are in any doubt about any fire safety elements on your premises, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We will be able to advise you and help you achieve compliance.

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Fire Risk Assessments conducted by a Competent Person

When to Use a Fire Risk Assessor

If you do not have the expertise to conduct a fire risk assessment yourself, you will need to assign a ‘competent person’, such as a professional fire risk assessor.

Accredited fire risk assesors

Duty Holder Responsibility

It is important to note that the duty holder remains responsible for ensuring adequate fire risk assessment. We recommend that you conduct checks on the company or individual(s) before appointing them as your risk assessor.

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The competency of a company that carries out fire risk assessments can be validated through several third-party certification schemes which are UKAS accredited.

The London Fire Brigade recommends the following precautions:

  • Be satisfied that the fire risk assessor providing this service is competent to do so. We recommend you check that those providing this service have independent registration with, or certification from, a professional or certification body and meet the competency criteria established by the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council.
  • Check that they have experience undertaking fire risk assessments for your business and premises.
  • Request references from previous clients on premises of your type; ask these clients if they were satisfied and if any problems were later identified
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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Fire Safety Law

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 aimed to assemble and consolidate all general fire safety legislation. The intent was to make the fire safety information more accessible and less confusing to businesses. The reform also reduced the number of authorised authorities to enforce fire safety matters.

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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to almost all buildings and structures; however, it is not applied to private homes.

Who is Responsible?

“You are responsible under the Act if you are an Employer, Landlord, Owner, Occupier, or anyone else in control of the premises such as a facilities manager.”

“As the responsible person, you must:

  • carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • put in place, and maintain appropriate fire safety measures
  • plan for an emergency
  • provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training.”
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Items that should be considered for your fire risk assessment
Fire Safety Hazards

What are the risks and who is  at risk?

Your risk assessment should identify what could cause a fire to start, i.e. sources of ignition (heat or sparks) and substances that burn, and the people who may be at risk.

The following process can be followed or fire safety basics:

  • Carry out a fire safety risk assessment
  • Keep sources of ignition and flammable substances apart
  • Avoid accidental fires, e.g. make sure heaters cannot be knocked over
  • Ensure good housekeeping at all times, e.g. avoid build-up of rubbish that could burn
  • Consider how to detect fires and how to warn people quickly if they start, e.g. installing smoke alarms and fire alarms or bells
  • Have the correct fire-fighting equipment for putting a fire out quickly
  • Keep fire exits and escape routes marked and unobstructed at all times
  • Ensure your workers receive appropriate training on procedures they need to follow, including fire drills
  • Review and update your risk assessment regularly

Fire safety hazards

Implement the Findings from Your Fire Risk Assessment

Based on the risk assessment outcomes, employers must ensure that proper fire safety measures are implemented to reduce the risk to life in the event of a fire. If possible, risk management should aim to avoid the threats altogether; however, when this is not possible appropriate action should be carried out to control and mitigate the risk of fire.

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What is the penalty for failing to have a fire risk assessment?

Don’t Take Risk with Risk Assessment

If you do not have a fire risk assessment, you are unlikely to have adequate fire safety procedures. The local fire authority could prosecute you if fire safety precautions are not in place. Prosecution for this offence can lead to severe fines and possibly prison sentences where negligence is proven.

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Need Help with Your Fire Safety?

With 26 years of experience, ClearView will be pleased to assist with your fire safety needs.  Contact us for a free survey of your premises.
Following the fire risk assessment, we’ll show you what equipment you need to install and where it needs to keep your staff safe.

Call 01245 214104 to speak to a member of our sales team today!

Information on workplace fire safety has come from The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – view the complete legislation document here.

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