Fire Risk Assessment – not just another tick box exercise

A fire risk assessment plays a fundamental role in our national health and safety regime. A fire rsik assessment is a mandatory requirement for commercial, industrial, and all other non-domestic premises. When used correctly a fire risk assessment can safeguard our workforces and help employers, landlords, and owners of non-residential buildings to meet their legal obligations.

If you’re responsible for dealing with the fire risks in your business it’s important to understand the actions you need to take, as failing to comply with the law has serious ramifications.

Are you a ‘responsible person’ under fire safety law?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, 2005, places a duty on employers, or nominated ‘responsible persons,’ to ensure fire risks have been carefully considered and steps taken to minimise any dangers that can’t be eradicated.

Business owners typically have responsibility in this respect, but if other people also have some form of control over the business or the building in which it operates, they must all work together to ensure regulatory compliance.  

Considerations for a fire risk assessment

The main goal of a fire risk assessment is to identify fire hazards with a view to eliminating them, or if this isn’t possible, minimise the risks. If there are five or more employees a document must be produced detailing the assessment, but it’s a good idea to write down the findings regardless of the number of building occupants.  

Additionally, this shouldn’t be a static document but one that’s reviewed if any changes are made to a building, or significant factors introduced that could impact fire health and safety. It’s also good practice to review the assessment results every 12 months.

What does a fire risk assessment involve?

Depending on the nature of the business and building/premises, these are just some of the factors a fire risk assessor may look at:

  • Construction, layout, and use of the building
  • Number of employees, and whether there are any vulnerable occupants
  • Storage of inflammable or dangerous materials
  • Number and placement of emergency exit routes
  • Fire safety system as a whole, including fire fighting equipment, signage, and staff training
  • Electrical equipment, heating devices, and designated smoking areas

What happens if you fail to comply with fire safety law?

If you don’t carry out a regular fire risk assessment your local fire authority could serve a notice on your premises. You may be fined and/or prosecuted, and face imprisonment in the most serious cases.

Fire risk assessments aren’t just a tick box exercise – they’re about taking preventative measures to minimise risks. Acorn Safety Services are fire risk assessors providing health and safety services nationally and internationally.

Not only do we carry out fire risk assessments, but we also offer CDM consultant services and a range of other health and safety services that ensure compliance.

For more information, please contact one of our experienced health and safety consultants

Need help with Health and Safety? Request a call back!

Request a call back from one of our expert Health and Safety Consultants who can help you whatever your health and safety, CDM or fire risk needs.

More Health and Safety Articles & News

Acorn Safety Services shortlisted for top award

By Neil Munro | 11th May 2021

A few days ago, we had a lovely surprise. We received an email telling us we had been nominated for the Best Customer Service award at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards 2021. The next stage of the contest is a public vote and we have been touched by how many clients have already been in …

Read more

Is your workplace protecting people from legionella?

By Ian Stone | 4th May 2021

As more and more workplaces open up following the latest round of lockdowns there are lots of things that employers need to consider, to ensure employees and visitors to their premises remain safe. One-way systems have become the norm in many workplaces and the use of face masks and other Covid-19 related measures have become …

Read more

No excuse to ignore health and safety law with launch of new app

By Neil Munro | 27th April 2021

We were very interested to recently hear that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a bespoke mobile app which is designed to help organisations understand the law, their health and safety rights, and their responsibilities. The app has been created in partnership with The Stationery Office (TSO), and is primarily for small and …

Read more

What do Health and Safety breaches make you think about?

By Ian Stone | 20th April 2021

When I hear about health and safety breaches I always wonder how company bosses react to them. I’d like to think that bosses would take a minute to review their own practices and if they have employed experienced health and safety specialists they should feel confident that they are doing all they can to prevent …

Read more

Tragic case shows why we all need to take Health and Safety seriously

By Neil Munro | 13th April 2021

We were recently made aware of a very sad case which shows how tragic the consequences of a health and safety breach can be. A few weeks ago, Durham Crown Court heard that on 12 December 2015, Simon Hogg and Raymond Garrett were operating a waste processing line at the Aycliffe Quarry site of Stonegrave …

Read more

British organisations fined £11m for Health and Safety Breaches

By Ian Stone | 7th April 2021

During the first three months of 2021 businesses across Britain have been fined millions of pounds for breaching health and safety law. Between January and March, British firms, schools and local authorities were successfully prosecuted for a wide range of breaches which in many cases left workers and members of the public with life-changing injuries …

Read more

HSE boss calls for ‘renewed vigour’ to make workplaces Covid-secure

By Neil Munro | 1st April 2021

Last week, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) new chair used her first blog of 2021 to set out the organisation’s expectations of firms across Great Britain in the coming months. Sarah Newton, who took over the top job at the HSE last August, reflected on the past year and the impact Covid-19 had, had …

Read more

Is the HSE warning firms to get their houses in order?

By Ian Stone | 23rd March 2021

At the beginning of the year, we shared the news that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had begun its search for a new Director of Legal Services. This was interesting because the role was a new position that had been created at the organisation following the HSE’s Chief Executive-led review. At the time, the …

Read more

Did you know we offer FREE Health and Safety Surgeries?

By Neil Munro | 16th March 2021

At Acorn Safety Services our expert team lives and breathes Health and Safety. We are passionate about what we do because our services keep people safe and help businesses to reduce staff absenteeism and ensure they are fully compliant with Health and Safety law. As a result, firms can say goodbye to the fear that …

Read more

Coronavirus

Are your staff in need of Covid-19 tests?

By Ian Stone | 9th March 2021

Increasingly, we are finding that frontline workers, including construction workers, are expected to have regular Covid-19 tests before they report to their sites or workplaces. Only last week we were asked by a client to undertake inspections on a site in London. Their client insisted that anyone who visited the site must have received a …

Read more