Simon Stokes

MD, Assured Fire & Security

Author Bio ▼

I have grown Assured from a start up company to a nationwide and international business, my business knowledge has come mostly from hands on experience in running a fast paced and dynamic SME, building a team of highly motivated and ambitious people has always been a high priority in order to serve my highest priority which is to provide great customer service for our clients. At Assured we are proud of our people and how we interact with our clients and suppliers, our USP is our people and how they treat our customers, nothing is hidden and you can always be Assured of a quick and honest approach to your requirement.
January 21, 2016

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Fire Risk Assessment guide: What is it and how do you get one?

Who needs a Fire Risk Assessment?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order imposes a legal requirement to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment. This applies to:

  • all businesses who have 5 or more employees (including part-time)
  • business premises visited by the public
  • landlords with control over business premises
  • landlords of HMO properties
  • self-employed with business premises

What does a Fire Risk Assessment entail?

A Fire Risk Assessment should cover your entire business premises to evaluate:

  • the condition of the building and its age
  • the layout of the building
  • the contents of the building to identify potential fire hazards, sources of ignition and combustible materials
  • the escape routes in the event of a fire

The assessment should also take into consideration who works in the building and in which locations, current fire safety signage in the building, existing protocols for fire prevention and management, and fire safety equipment onsite including its condition and maintenance. Existing fire safety training and drills should also be evaluated.

After an assessment has taken place, a Fire Risk Assessment Report can be produced. This report will detail any areas that are not compliant with legislation and need urgent attention, along with recommendations for improvements in fire safety provision. It will also ensure you meet regulatory requirements and satisfy insurance needs.

Who can do a Fire Risk Assessment?

A Fire Risk Assessment can be conducted by anyone who is competent to do so. However, as it is a document to ensure your compliance with legislation, if you don’t have an in-house health and safety person we highly recommend employing a BAFE registered company to undertake the assessment for you. A BAFE registered assessor will ensure your Fire Risk Assessment covers all aspects of fire safety and also adheres to legal requirements.

How long does a Fire Risk Assessment last for?

A Fire Risk Assessment doesn’t have an expiry date. However, it is your responsibility to review the report regularly and keep it up to date. You will need a new Fire Risk Assessment in the following circumstances:

  • if there have been material alterations to the building
  • if there are any significant changes to the use, contents or layout of the building since the last Fire Risk Assessment was carried out
  • if there’s a significant change in fire risk precautions




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2 Comments on "Fire Risk Assessment guide: What is it and how do you get one?"

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richard woodward
Thanks – A good explanation of the “whys and wherefores” around fire risk assessments.  It is also worth pointing out that the assessment is to quantify the risk to life to relevant persons in or around buildings or other places.  I would also point out that with regard to “who can carry an assessment out” that the duty to do the fire risk assessment lies with the Responsible Person only and nobody else.  It does not state in the FSO anywhere that a competent person should carry one out which is somewhat strange.  The best course of action is always to procure a third party accredited life safety… Read more »
Ian Malone
How do the questions get asked , when 3rd party assessors who don’t know a building or the habits of its inhabitants , lie detectors could not beat the truth from some. Facts are never simple , buildings are more complex than any drawing can show , people are more ???? than can be written . A judgement can only be made on what can be seen using experience from previous events, but. a responsible person is an individual who is not all seeing and knowing, just a person hi lighted by the Fire Service and the insurance world to… Read more »