Fire Safety Risk Assessment
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All you need to know about fire risk assessment
What is Fire Risk Assessment?
A Fire Risk Assessment is a structured evaluation which identifies possible fire risk and hazards that may be present in a particular premise.
The Fire Risk Assessment will confirm any good practices and policies that are already in place to keep the premise and it’s occupiers safe from fire. It will also determine what actions need to be taken to improve the standards of fire safety on the premise.
These actions will be classified as high, medium or low risk, which will allow the responsible person(s) to prioritise, take action and remain compliant. The law requires that the Fire Risk Assessment needs to be carried out by a competent person.
Areas to assess:
- Fire detection systems
- General Housekeeping
- Fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment
- Emergency routes and exits
- The safe storage of dangerous substances
- An emergency fire evacuation plan
- The evacuation of less-abled people
- The evacuation and fire safety information to employees and other people on the premises
- Staff fire safety training
How much does fire risk assessment cost?
A fire risk assessment can vary in cost depending on the risks present, the size of the premise and the complexity of the premise.
Siren charges a very competitive price to conduct a fire risk assessment.
Siren’s office team will ask a series of questions upon your enquiry and an estimated quote will be given at the time.
Our experienced fire risk assessors will work with you during the site visit to fully understand the workings of your organisation. The assessors operate an open audit which means they will support your needs and highlight risks whilst onsite. This allows you to fully understand the process and be able to ask questions dynamically.
We very rarely have to adjust the quote, but in some cases, if the customer hasn’t disclosed everything or we identify significant extra work whilst onsite, a further discussion can be had before proceeding any further with the assessment.
Can a business owner / landlord draft a Fire Risk Assessment?
Yes theoretically. There is no such a law which says that you can’t, but you must be competent. However, the process is very complex, requires exceptional knowledge of the RRFSO2005.
The person carrying out the Fire Risk Assessment must be confident in their own abilities to carry it out effectively and accurately. Overlooking certain details could result in huge financial penalties, or worse, someone getting hurt.
Reasonable experience or knowledge of fire safety / health and safety is highly recommended. However, if the responsible person is not confident in doing so, the responsibility should be passed on to suitably qualified professionals.
Who needs Fire Risk Assessment? Is fire risk assessment a legal requirement?
U.K legislation requires that commercial / business premises who employ more than 5 staff members adhere to the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 (RRFSO2005).
The RRFSO2005 refers to much more than a Fire Risk Assessment, however, getting a qualified risk assessor, who understands how to interpret the order is a sensible way to ensure your business is meeting it’s legal obligations.
If you are owner one of the following premisses you should consider a fire risk assessment every year.
- construction businesses
- offices and retail stores, shopping centers
- factories and manufacturing plants or storage facilities
- residential (flats, houses, apartments etc.)
- schools, colleges, universities etc.
- small and medium premisses (embracing up to 300 people)
- large premisses (embracing more than 300 people)
- theatres, art galleries, cinemas, stadiums etc,
- open air events, markets
- hospitals, sanatorium, quarters
- stables and farm houses
- logistic premises and facilities
A Fire Safety Assessment must also be carried out on communal areas of domestic properties. Landlords and Managing Agents are also required to adhere to the RRFSO2005.
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What should be included in a fire risk assessment checklist?
If you decided to do fire risk assessment yourself, first of all you should read The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. You should pay special attention how to:
- Classify the fire dangers.
- Identify people / areas at risk
- Eliminate and decrease the risk
- List your conclusions
- List your actions
- Compose an emergency evacuation plan and provide training
- Re-evaluate and update the assessment regularly
How often do I need to renew fire risk assessment?
It is very important to keep your fire risk assessment up to date. Businesses and premises are often changing the way they operate, changing their staff, changing the products they sell and even altering the building itself.
Reviewing your fire risk assessment annually ensures that you can make the necessary amendments, so that you remain compliant and keep everyone safe. It also acts as a reminder to the responsible person(s) of their obligations, which can be passed along as a reminder to the staff.
In some instances, a review of the Fire Risk Assessment could be more frequent.
If there are significant changes made to the structure of the building, any renovations affect the original fire management plan, a sharp increase in staffing numbers, new hazardous materials onsite or any other change that could affect the safety at your premise. You might need a new fire risk assessment as well as new escape routes etc.
In addition to the above, by revisiting the initial fire risk assessment the responsible person(s) can take note of when certain aspects of the overall fire safety plan needs refreshing or re-testing. For example:
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
- Fire Marshal Training
- 5 yearly Electrical Test
- Fire Panel Test
- Emergency Lighting Test
Fire Safety Training in the Workplace
Fire Safety Training in the Workplace
Workplace fires can have devastating effects for people and businesses. Businesses can find premises destroyed, equipment damaged beyond repair and have important data and paperwork lost forever. However important we may think these business assets are, it does not compare to the catastrophic effects of fire on people.
Most fires are preventable, and it only takes a thorough fire risk assessment to identify the hazards and implement safe working conditions to ensure fires don’t start and if they do, are contained by fire designed safety measures.
If your workforce, from senior management to the newest employee understood the basic elements of the fire triangle which highlights how fires are started, You would be able to implement preventative measures that make for a safer working environment and potentially save lives.
What can cause a fire in the workplace?
The main reasons fires start are:
- Faulty or overloaded electrical equipment
- Hot work practises (such as welding)
- Portable Heaters
- Housekeeping and an accumulation of rubbish
To prevent the causes of workplace fires, we must first understand fire behavior.
OUR OTHER FIRE SAFETY TRAINING & SERVICES
Fire Evacuation Plan
A Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan (FEEP) should be in place for every workplace that employs more than 5 people. If you are unsure how to draft a FEEP please get in touch and one of our expert Fire Safety Consultants will conduct a site visit and create a document for you. Turnarounds for FEEP documents take approximately 3 days.
Fire Drill Management
Workplaces should aim to run at least one fire evacuation drills per year. The responsibility lies with either Building Management, Landlords or Company Managers. If you would like assistance on how to conduct an effective fire drill, please contact us. We will arrange a suitable time to conduct a drill and report on any improvements.
Fire Alarm / Emergency Lighting
Siren Training can offer a complete fire safety package to take the hassle out of all of your fire safety needs. Our services include; fixed wire testing, electrical works, emergency lighting inspections, fire alarm testing and inspections as well as a fire safety documentation review. Sound like a headache, give us a call.
What is a fire hazard in the workplace?
A hazard is anything that can cause harm. Here are a few examples of how a fire can cause harm, even death
Smoke inhalation – This is the main cause of fire deaths. By nature we misjudge the dangers of smoke. We think because smoke is not a physical barrier we can easily pass through it unharmed. In fact, firefighters refer to smoke as ‘hot gases’ and would never move through it without specialist breathing apparatus. Its important to understand the make up of smoke.
This toxic cloud is made up of:
- Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen Cyanide that will make it difficult to breath, make you drowsy and is fatal.
- Acrolein, Sulphur and Nitrogen will irritate and sting your eyes and airway
- Phosgene and Dioxins are found in biological nerve agents and effect the central nervous system making it difficult to control basic movements.
Fire Safety Briefing at Workplace
It is a legal requirement that employers have a fire safety procedure in place and that these are made aware to all staff. Many employers choose to have this part of their induction for new employees, but all staff should be given refresher briefings to help remind everyone on what to do in the event of a fire.
All staff should be made aware of:
- The emergency procedures
- Where the fire exits are located
- Where the designated assembly points are (and which one they should go to if there are multiple points for different parts of the building)
- Fire prevention measures that are already in the building, including equipment
- Why fire doors need to be kept shut or kept free of obstructions
- How to report any fire safety concerns
- Any known fire alarm tests, so that all other alarms should be treated as real.
Visitors should be made aware of the fire safety procedures applicable to them. Also, some staff members may need additional help in getting out of the building quickly, so an appropriate personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) should be put in place that ensures their safety. This may include use of additional equipment like an evac-chair to assist them down the stairwell. Employees should be trained in using this type of equipment.
Alternatively, if occupants of a building require additional assistance, refuge areas are often situated in protected areas of a building with communications linked to building management. Arrangements need to be made in advance to ensure safe evacuation.
The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order of 2005 requires employers to ensure that employees are provided with adequate emergency evacuation procedures and suitable fire safety knowledge including Fire awareness and Fire Marshal training. To conclude, fire safety training within any working environment is a legal requirement under this order.