In this article, we answer the question “Do I need to do a Fire Risk Assessment? We will also explain what it needs to cover.
Firstly, yes, all employers must carry out a fire risk assessment regardless of how many people they employ.
What The Law Says
If you have five or more employees, you need to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and record the findings. If you have less than five employees, you legally still need to do one, although you do not need to record the results.
However, our advice is to record your findings, regardless of the number of staff you employ. It’s the easiest way to prove that you carried one out if you had to!
Even If You Rent Your Premises, You Need To Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that if the employer has any control over the workplace, they must carry out a fire risk assessment as a responsible person.
If you rent a property, you still need to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment. In some cases, there may be several responsible persons for a building (for example shared offices), in which case they must all work together where there are overlapping or common areas such as hallways or entrances.
What It Needs To Cover
It is a five-step process that should indicate what fire precautions should be implemented. The five steps are:
- Identify the fire hazards
- Identify who is at significant risk
- Evaluate the risks and put in place control measures
- Record the findings
- Monitor and review the risk assessment
It should consider the following areas:
- emergency routes and exits
- fire detection and warning systems
- fire-fighting equipment
- the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
- emergency fire evacuation plan
- the needs of vulnerable people, e.g. the elderly, young children or those with disabilities
- providing information to employees and other people on the premises
- staff competency and training
What To Do If You Don’t Feel Confident To Carry Out The Assessment Yourself
The person carrying out the fire risk assessment must be competent to do so. If you do not have the knowledge and skills required, then help is available.
The Government provides advice in a series of publications about carrying out fire risk assessments in certain types of non-domestic property. These can be downloaded from their website for free.
For small premises, this may be acceptable; however, if you still feel that you do not have the expertise or the time, then we would recommend hiring an external consultant.
Help and Support is Available
Our experienced fire safety consultants can conduct a comprehensive fire risk assessment of your premises and provide a full written report, including recommendations on any safety issues that may need addressing in order to ensure compliance with the law.