Fire Risk Assessments

If you own, manage or operate a business, you need to comply with fire safety law.  The main law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 or RRFSO and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 which applies in Scotland.

This RRFSO applies to all non-domestic premises, and it is your responsibility to make sure your workplace reaches the required standard. All previous fire legislation has now been repealed or revoked and it’s important to know that fire certificates are no longer issued and existing certificates are no longer valid. A fairly recent fire certificate however may be a good starting point for your fire risk assessment.

As the many previous pieces of legislation took a prescriptive approach they could only ever ensure the minimum level of fire safety to the wide range of premises under their jurisdiction. They could not account for every risk in every type of premises. This prescriptive approach also stifled technological developments in fire safety.

The RRFSO takes a risk based approach to risk reduction and fire prevention. The RRFSO places a duty on a ‘Responsible Person’ to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, then act on the findings in order to minimise the risk to people by fire.  The risk assessment must be recorded if you have a total of five or more employees.

In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, owner, landlord, person with overall management of a building or occupier of business or other non-domestic premises, then you’re responsible for fire safety and are known as the ‘responsible person’.

The Order does not define the level of competence required by the Responsible Person, but for most smaller businesses a degree of common sense will be adequate. If you have a large or complex workplace, however, you may feel that you do not have the appropriate knowledge or expertise to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, or if you simply do not have the time or resource to do it in-house, then HSD has experience of fire risk assessments in a wide range of industries, why not contact us today?