You may have heard of fire risk assessments or read about them elsewhere on our site, but you might be wondering why you should have one. Most people want to know what the benefits of a fire risk assessment are, along with how often they should have one carried out.
To help make fire risk assessments easier to understand, we’ll cover the reasons you need a fire risk assessment, how often, who carries it out and the overall benefits to your business.
Is it a legal requirement?
According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, yes it is a legal requirement to have a Fire Risk Assessment.
All businesses have a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment carried out for their premises. Where a business has more than five members of staff, that fire risk assessment should then be taken as a written record of the findings in line with government guidance.
The biggest risk a business faces in not having a fire risk assessment is the increased risk to employees and visitors.
Legal consequences resulting in the injury, or the worst-case scenario, loss of life to employees and visitors, would be far-reaching and substantial.
Secondary to this is that business insurance policies could be invalidated through the inadequate provision of fire safety measures, with costs forcing the closure of business – it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.
A further legal risk of not having an assessment is that your local fire authority could visit your premises to check your fire safety measures. They can issue notices with varying degrees of severity, up to the point where they could issue a prohibition notice to close or restrict your premises if you haven’t taken appropriate action.
How often do I need a Fire Risk Assessment?
Another common question people have is how often a fire risk assessment should be carried out. The answer is that there is no definitive time period, but the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 does state, however, that regular assessments should be carried out to ensure fire safety measures are kept up to date.
Also, you are encouraged to have a new fire risk assessment if any of the following applies:
- If changes have been made to the structure of the building
- If the function or use of any space has been changed significantly
- If you have a new, hazardous substance being stored at your site
- If you’ve had a fire-related incident in your premises
- If you have dramatically changed how many staff use the building
- If you hire new staff with disabilities
- If you spot that fire safety equipment has been damaged
Who carries out a Fire Risk Assessment?
A fire risk assessment must be carried out by someone with the right experience and qualifications. Often, this is not something which the responsible person for the building is capable of, which is why a professional assessor is usually required.
It is up to the responsible person to take care of this and to make sure a fire risk assessment is completed on a regular basis or in line with any of the scenarios mentioned in the previous section of this article.
What are the benefits of a Fire Risk Assessment?
The benefits of a fire risk assessment go beyond merely avoiding having your premises ordered to close by the local fire service. The ultimate goal of a fire risk assessment is to protect lives, with the secondary goal of ensuring as much is done as possible to mitigate risks and minimise the impact of any fire.
Benefits of a fire risk assessment include:
- Saves lives
- Prevents loss of assets
- Prevents downtime for your business
- Makes your staff feel safer
Here at TVF (UK) Limited, we provide fire risk assessments for businesses and commercial buildings across High Wycombe, Watford, Slough and beyond. With professional assessors available to carry out an assessment, you can ensure that you’re taking all the right steps to protect lives from the threat of fire.
Simply contact us today for more details or to discuss a fire risk assessment for your building.
Give us a call on 0175 3907 640 for a quote.