How important are fire risk assessments?

Fire risk assessments, what is the importance of them?

This blog will explain why fire risk assessments are important and how you can eliminate the risks to keep your business safe. So what is the aim of a fire risk assessment? The aim of carrying out a risk assessment is to remove or reduce the risk of hazards; then your business should determine what safety measures are needed to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.

When carrying out a risk assessment you must

  1. Identify and fire hazards.
  2. Decide who can be harmed and how.
  3. Evaluate the risks.
  4. Record the findings and implement them.
  5. Check that practice control measures are in place.
  6. Remember to review the risk assessment every year.

Whatever your business, as an employer you have a legal duty to ensure everyone’s safety. As a part of keeping everyone safe, a written fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for your business. This is only the case in businesses that employ five or more people. Failure to have one can lead to serious penalties or imprisonment.

Not only is a fire risk assessment important in order for you to meet your legal requirements, but it is also vital to help minimize the likelihood of a fire. When visitors are on your premises you need to provide information on your premises and fire safety training to employees. Every fire is different, a fire risk assessment for residential, educational, and healthcare premises will significantly differ from shops and offices. It is important to remember this when doing your risk assessments.

Some things to consider when completing a fire risk assessment is

  1. Check the fire detection and warning signs.
  2. Fire doors.
  3. Emergency routes and exits.
  4. Firefighting equipment- fire extinguishers, fire blankets.
  5. Emergency evacuation plans.
  6. Any vulnerable people.

A fire risk assessment should be completed by a responsible person. Your business has a duty of care to your employees, members of the public, and for the property. There are fire risk assessment templates out on the internet which can be good to get an idea of other risk assessments but you need to remember that every business if different and to tailor the risk assessment to your business.

The fire risk assessment should be specific to your business, your premises, and the occupancy of your building. It is important to teach your employees the fire safety practices not only to keep themselves safe but the business and everyone in the premises. Staff training is useful because it means everyone can have some knowledge of fire prevention and hopefully be able to spot potential risks.

Tips on how to reduce fire hazards within the workplace:

  1. Do not overload the plug sockets.
  2. Always test the fire alarms.
  3. Keep fire exits clear.
  4. If you sort combustible materials be careful and mindful of where you keep them.
  5. Practice caution when smoking.

Hopefully, now you know the importance of fire risk assessment and the potential hazards that come from not having a written risk assessment. Remember it is not just your life on the line but others too. For more information about HR Fire & Saftey Risk Assessments please do not hesitate to call us on the number above.

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