Whether you operate in a retail, industrial, healthcare, or other setting, fires can have a devastating impact on your workplace and can pose a serious risk of harm to your workforce. Whilst it’s impossible to entirely eliminate the risk of fires taking place in workplaces around the country, there are preventative measures that employers can put in place in order to protect their business and workforce in the event of a fire. One of these measures is a fire safety risk assessment.
A fire safety risk assessment is a crucial process that all employers should be implementing in their workplace in order to prevent fires and protect those at work. In this article, we reveal more about a fire safety risk assessment template’s role in helping businesses to do this, as well as share more about the importance of fire risk assessments.
A fire risk assessment is a type of review that is carried out by a non-domestic building. The purpose of a fire safety risk assessment is to:
And within a workplace, a fire safety risk assessment must be carried out if your business premises have at least four or more individuals within it at any one time in order to protect the well-being and safety of those within your workplace should a fire break out.
For any non-domestic building, executing fire safety risk assessments is a necessity for having a thorough and high-quality fire safety risk policy to protect individuals within these buildings, which includes businesses - whether large or small.
The aims of a fire safety risk assessment include identifying all potential fire risks and hazards, which include ignition and fuel sources. These will be specific to different buildings and workplace environments so you’ll need to understand exactly what hazards could be a potential fire risk in your business.
The fire safety assessment also aims to identify who will be most at risk during a fire, which includes employees, building residents, or customers. An evaluation of any risk factors in play will also be conducted, which will help businesses determine how best to remove these risks in the workplace, either partially or entirely.
And in order to prevent fires from occurring in the future, your assessment will also make it clear how you can best enforce precautionary measures designed to improve fire safety (which may include sprinklers, fire alarms, or extinguishers) and details of evacuation plans for the future.
Fire safety risk assessments are a crucial aspect of a workplace health and safety policy, and are of great importance specifically to prevent fire breakouts at work, thus protecting the health and wellbeing of those operating within this environment.
Under the terms of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is the main piece of statutory fire legislation in place to govern fire safety in buildings across England and Wales, every business owner, property manager, or employer must conduct regular fire safety risk assessments.
These fire safety risk assessments, as previously mentioned, are supposed to form the backbone of a fire prevention strategy and if you employ more than four members of staff - or run a business that’s open to the public - you also have a legal obligation to document your fire safety risk assessments, and store the resultant records so that:
If you don’t keep any fire risk assessments that have been conducted by your business on file, this can open your business up to legal trouble and may also result in substantial fines being issued by your local fire protection officers.
Within a building, the responsibility for completing a fire safety risk assessment could lie with a number of individuals. However, it is important that this is established so that a fire safety risk assessment is carried out regularly to protect the safety of all those within a workplace.
Anyone who is responsible for, and/or owns and controls, a non-domestic building is responsible for conducting fire safety risk assessments. This could be someone who is part of a larger team for one area, or an individual, with examples being:
In the case of businesses in particular, large or complex organisations employ a specialist risk assessor to carry out their fire risk assessments. However, you are allowed to appoint a ‘responsible person’ from your own staff to conduct these risk assessments for your company. As long as they’ve received adequate training and know how to properly record any findings from a fire safety assessment, this is allowed.
Fire safety risk assessments are relatively easy to carry out on your own, and so this isn’t a task that employers and businesses should feel intimidated by. Given that many other organisations manage to do this in accordance with guidelines and legislation with ease, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Carrying out your own fire risk assessments also enables you to control every aspect of your business’ fire prevention strategy and may save a considerable amount of money, so it’s always worth familiarising yourself with the risk assessment process.
A fire safety risk assessment template is a tool that is used by an individual who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment. The purpose of this fire safety risk assessment template is to identify fire risks and hazards within a non-domestic building and what can be done to tackle these to protect the well-being of individuals.
In basic terms, it’s a checklist that makes it much easier for fire safety officials to review and identify what risks may be present, where these risks lie, and the proper methods that can be carried out to reduce or eliminate these risks.
For anyone looking to conduct a fire safety risk assessment within their workplace, and is in need of a comprehensive template, we’ve provided our very own free fire risk assessment template that can be used as the basis of your workplace risk assessment below:
A fire safety risk assessment should always include:
A list of potential fire hazards, including:
A list of the people who would be at risk during a fire, including:
An evaluation of fire risks, including:
Details of any pre-existing fire safety aids, including:
To conduct a fire risk assessment, you should use a fire safety risk assessment template modified to suit your business. It is essential that you do not simply copy an example of a risk assessment template and think this is completely applicable to your company. Instead, you can use our free fire safety risk assessment template outlined above as a starting point for developing a comprehensive risk assessment for your company. From this, you can then identify the exact practices that must be put in place to protect your employees from fires.
Should you choose to have a fire safety assessment conducted by an external professional, the cost of those can vary depending on your work premises, the company that you are using for the assessment, and the cost of their specific services. Prices can start from roughly a couple of hundred pounds and stretch to over a thousand in some cases, and this is something that you’ll have to review carefully to find the best service for your business.
Businesses must always have a fire safety assessment that is kept up to date and that is conducted by a competent individual, as addressed in the above article. Whilst there are no specific time periods required by law in which fire risk assessments should be conducted, it is within best practice for businesses to do this annually to ensure that this is kept up to date for the protection of all those within the premises.
The Publicly Available Specification, or PAS, is a document used to systematically evaluate the individual factors that determine fire hazards, how likely a fire is, and what the implications may be if a fire were to take place. It is one type of methodology that assists in the undertaking and recording of fire risk assessments and is a code of practice for any premises that aren’t used for housing.
Completing a fire risk assessment in your workplace is just another critical component of workplace health and safety that ensures that your business is meeting the requirements of current UK fire safety legislation. With this, you can ensure that you, your employees, and any customers are kept safe by preventing workplace fires and having effective measures in place to protect them should a fire occur.
Our ‘Fire Safety for Fire Marshals and Wardens’ online course is suitable for anyone in the workplace looking to learn of the latest fire safety regulations as well as the hazards and risks that lie within a workplace.