Fire Risk Assessments - what you need to know

A Fire Risk Assessment should include a thorough inspection of managed communal areas of property which not only identify Fire hazards but provide informed, property specific and clear action plans to assist with the effective management of fire risk and ensuring compliance.

The Technical Part

Fire Risk Assessments address the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which include recommendations for required remedial actions, ongoing monitoring and control measures.

The Regulations also require the responsible person/body to devise and implement safety measures as identified in the Risk Assessment. Communal areas of managed property are deemed a workplace and therefore attract the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Order and associated guidance.

Worth Knowing

  • The assessments, observations and recommendations made in Fire Risk Assessments are only pertinent to the conditions at the time of the assessment.
  • Fire Risk Assessments should be carried out ’Regularly’. The frequency of the review period for on-going Fire Risk Assessment is dependent on the Fire Safety management and the severity and likelihood of Fire risks and hazards that may be identified.
  • The Risk Assessment report should include an overview audit for relevant legal requirements indicating whether the client is complying with Fire Safety legislation and guidance or not.
  • The content of Fire Risk Assessment reports can only be based upon the information and access at the property provided at the time of the assessment visit.
  • Any recommendations or advice in Risk Assessment reports should be based upon evidence seen only.
  • Risk Assessments are based upon an interpretation of current Acts, Regulations and Approved Codes of Practices; however, these can only be authoritatively interpreted by Courts of Law.

What to do

  • Ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out for the communal areas of managed property and that it is carried out ‘Regularly’ as required.
  • Ensure that the Fire Risk Assessment is carried out by an independent and competent company/person to avoid unnecessary issues being recommended for commercial gain.
  • Ensure that all actions are attended to in line with the priority levels for each hazard or non-compliance identified and the action section is completed to confirm this.
  • Where possible consider combining the Fire Risk Assessment and Health & Safety Risk Assessment in one report for ease of management and cost effectiveness.
4site Consulting Limited is an independent Health & Safety Consultancy providing a 'one stop shop' range of specialist compliance services for owners, occupiers/tenants and managers of commercial property and residential blocks.