The HSE states that “Most fires are preventable.” Individuals responsible for commercial premises and buildings accessed by the public can lower the risk of fire by adopting appropriate behaviours and procedures, including fire risk assessment.
Fire risk assessment is a legal requirement in the UK for all non-domestic buildings, as outlined in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. A fire risk assessment aims to detect potential fire hazards, assess the level of risk, and employ measures to reduce the chance of fire and ensure the safety of occupants.
The fire risk assessment process involves a comprehensive review of the building’s structure, use, and occupancy, as well as the identification of potential ignition sources and fire hazards. The assessment will also consider the means of escape in the event of a fire, the suitability of fire detection and alarm systems, and the availability of firefighting equipment and training.
Once a fire risk assessment is completed, the responsible person or duty holder must take appropriate steps to reduce or eliminate the identified risks. This may involve implementing fire safety measures such as installing fire alarms and extinguishers, improving means of escape, and providing staff training and awareness.
It’s important to note that a competent person or company with the appropriate training and experience must perform fire risk assessments. The evaluation must be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains up-to-date and relevant to the building’s use and occupancy.
If there is a fire, and you haven’t fulfilled your legal duties to keep people safe, you could be fined or even face jail time. Moreover, you are putting lives at risk. Therefore, anyone who owns commercial premises, including HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) or a flat with a communal area, must arrange for a Fire Risk assessment.
Here at AJC Environmental, we routinely conduct fire risk assessments, following PAS 79 Guidelines. We will document your fire risk assessment in a comprehensive written report with guidance under ‘Significant findings’ and an ‘Action plan’.
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