In the UK, it is a legal requirement for a fire risk assessment to be carried out on almost all premises where people could be working and if you fail to follow these requirements, you could face a fine. If you are responsible for a building, you must carry out a risk assessment to reduce the risk of a fire and to keep your people safe.
Our team at Iniga have broken down everything you need to know about fire risk assessments and how we can help, operating across Ipswich, Suffolk.
Why do I need to carry out a fire risk assessment?
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 in Scotland and the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in Northern Ireland. Under these regulations, the "responsible person" is legally obliged to ensure that the fire risk assessment is carried out and to deal with any problems that were highlighted during that assessment (although the relevant phrase is "duty holder" under the Scotland regulations and "appropriate person" under the Northern Ireland regulations).
If you are looking for a professional fire risk assessment in Ipswich and the surrounding Suffolk area, get in touch with our team at Iniga today.
Who is the responsible person for a fire risk assessment?
The definition of the "responsible person" is typically the person who has primary responsibility for the premises. This could include facilities managers, owners of premises and managers of buildings. In multi-tenanted buildings, each tenant has to carry out a fire risk assessment of their premises and coordinate it with the fire risk assessment that the landlord has carried out of their areas.
Fire risk assessments in large buildings
In blocks of flats, the fire risk assessment needs to cover the common areas (such as stairs and corridors) but not necessarily the individual flats. The fire risk assessment has to be carried out to a competent standard. For small buildings, the owner or occupier of the premises is likely to be able to carry out an assessment themselves, as long as they familiarise themselves with the relevant guidance document.
What to include in a fire risk assessment
To ensure you cover the main aspects of your building, we would encourage you to conduct the five following steps:
- Identifying the fire hazard.
- Identifying people at risk.
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
- Record all your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly to ensure it’s always accurate.
When should I hire a professional to carry out a fire risk assessment?
For buildings of any size or complexity, it is best to employ a professional fire risk assessor to carry the assessment out. There is a very wide range of levels of expertise for fire risk assessors. The most basic level will simply review your building against standard design codes, and recommend that you upgrade any parts of the building that do not comply. Whilst the fire risk assessment itself may be cheap, this approach can often result in major costs to upgrade buildings to current standards.
However, a more experienced fire risk assessor will be able to make reasoned judgements on the level of risk presented by non-compliances and decide whether the risk is tolerable. Even if changes are needed, they may be able to recommend an alternative, more cost-effective solutions such as changes to management procedures.
How Iniga can help
Iniga fire risk assessment team pride ourselves on having the expertise of the highest standards and are supported by the rest of the company who can provide expert advice on almost all aspects of fire safety when needed. By using Iniga, you are therefore sure that you will be given the best advice and receive the most cost-effective solutions.
Iniga Fire Safety Systems would be more than happy to discuss your requirements on your fire risk assessments, based in Ipswich, operating throughout Suffolk, UK, contact us today.