Fire Risk Assessment

Fire Safety Risk Assessment

The ‘responsible person’ must inspect several areas of the workplace when carrying out a fire risk assessment. For example, they need to assess common hazards, warning and detection systems, escape routes, fire suppression equipment, personal emergency evacuation plans, and more. Our template contains a checklist of all these key factors to guide you while carrying out a risk assessment.

However, to get the full benefit from a fire risk assessment template, you must understand the fire safety requirements that every business needs to fulfil. If you’re responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment, you must have received sufficient fire safety awareness training, ideally fire warden training or higher. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to know what exactly you’re looking for.

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RRO – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

In the United Kingdom fire safety was previously covered by about seventy pieces of fire safety legislation, the principal ones being the Fire Precautions Act 1961 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997/1999. In 2001 it was therefore decided the legislation needed to be to simplified. This was achieved with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales.

With the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (“the Order”) in October 2006, Fire and Rescue Authorities and other bodies (“enforcing authorities”) now have a duty to enforce fire safety in non-domestic premises.

Most of the requirements of the Order will not be new to Fire and Rescue Authorities. Many are similar to those of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended), but are applicable to a far larger range of premises eg all non domestic premises including common parts of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and those premises used by the self employed (including family run businesses) and the voluntary sector.

Provision is made for the protection of a wider range of persons under the Order than the 1997 Regulations.

Who Needs to Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires all businesses to regularly carry out suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments. A fire risk assessment must identify whether the business’s existing measures are sufficient and determine how to improve them if they are not. This requirement applies to all types of work-related buildings, structures, and open spaces, including offices and shops, care and education settings, warehouses, construction sites, and more.

A full list of businesses that must carry out fire risk assessments includes:

  • Offices.
  • Shops and other retail premises.
  • Hospitals and social care homes.
  • Schools and other education settings.
  • Construction sites.
  • Pubs, bars, cafés, and restaurants.
  • Places of worship.
  • Community premises and sports centres.
  • Factories and warehouses.
  • Shared accommodation areas.
  • Tents and marquees.
  • Hotels and other premises that serve paying guests.
  • Rented properties and accommodation.

This list is comprehensive, but it is not exhaustive.

Article 9 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2015 requires the responsible person to carry out a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the risks on the premises.

Useful extracts…

Article 9 – Risk Assessment
56. The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the measures they need to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on them by the Order. The nature of the assessment will vary according to the type and use of the premises, the persons who use or may use the premises, and the risks associated with that use. A risk assessment should be reviewed regularly by the responsible person to keep it up to date, valid and to reflect any significant changes that may have taken place.

57. The Order contains a requirement to record the “prescribed information” if five or more persons are employed in order to maintain consistency with health and safety legislation. The prescribed information comprises the significant findings of the risk assessment (including the measures taken or to be taken, eg training and maintenance, consultation and co-ordination) and any group of persons identified as being especially at risk. Under the Order, the threshold of five or more persons includes those employees who may work from or in another place away from the premises concerned, for example an employer with three shops, each of which has two staff would employ six people and thus be under a duty to record the risk assessment for each shop.

Click image to view Full Order.