The importance of Fire Risk Assessments

What is a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is an organised and methodical look at your premises and the activities carried out there. It assesses the likelihood of a fire starting, the cause of that fire and the resulting harm that could come to those in and around the premises.

 

What happens if you don’t have a fire risk assessment?

Any fire risk assessment needs to be compliant with PAS 79. It needs to be carried out by a competent person. As it is a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment, if you don’t have one or if it is not fully compliant you leave yourself open to prosecution and fines.

 

How we complete a Fire Risk Assessment

  1. We will identify the people that are at risk in the building
  2. We would identify the Fire hazards (sources of ignition, fuel & oxygen)
  3. Evaluate the Risk and look for any existing Fire Safety measures to see if they are adequate
  4. Record Fire Safety Risk Assessment Information such as emergency plans, provide training etc
  5. Review the findings of the Fire Risk Assessment and keep this under review and revise if necessary.

 

The Benefits of having a Fire Risk Assessment

There are many benefits of Fire Risk Assessment and management, and I regularly come across businesses around the North East and further afield that have not taken any measures to protect their business or property from a fire! One of the reoccurring reasons is the lack of knowledge of the requirements in Fire Safety Legislation. The need to comply with Legislation and the need to complete a Fire Risk Assessment are important in terms of legal requirements and every employer/landlord should do these as a matter of routine.

 

But the benefits of a positive attitude towards Fire Safety can benefit the business and employees in a number of ways!

 

Firstly, having a positive Fire Safety Culture. This can be seen by the employees during the Fire Risk Management from testing the fire alarms and emergency lighting to them seeing the extinguisher engineer in completing the annual maintenance. Staff will see their welfare being considered and protected by the employer.

Also to be considered is what a well-trained employee can do during a fire. Staff who have completed a Fire Training Course will be more likely to use an extinguisher, therefore saving lives by increasing evacuation times and limiting damage to the business!

 

A business with good Fire Safety Management is less likely to suffer from a fire and the subsequent closure, lost production, personal injury claims and lost stock. If your business is badly damaged or destroyed in a fire, could you cope financially to reopen and pay the employees’ wages during the rebuild?

 

If your insurance company can see that you as an employer were proactive in terms of Fire Safety Management, they are more likely to pay in full for the insurance claim!

 

Make sure your Fire Risk Assessment is up to date and that you are completing the required tests and keeping records.

 

If you would like to enquire about having a Fire Risk Assessment carried out at your premises by one of our qualified Health & Safety team, please call us on 01325 488426 or email us at enquiries@wedohealthandsafety.co.uk

Simone Corner
Health & Safety Officer