Asking whether a Fire Risk Assessment is important is like asking what bears do in the woods, or enquiring about the Pope’s religious leanings. We all know as much: the harrowing images of the recent Grenfell Tower fire do, sadly, concentrate the mind in this regard, and we all have personal anecdotes we can recount.
Thankfully, most of them – at their very worst – involve damage to property. Few might even stress the unintended or even comic (depending on your sense of humour) outcome of a situation that, at one point, might have been rather worrying. We all have, or hear such stories; yet if we can take a little of this time to ponder just how serious the subject of fire safety is, then that can only be a good thing.
What we do
Fire Risk Assessments are a big part of what we do here at HR Fire & Safety, so here’s a quick overview:
A good analogy is what your local garage might do when you take your car in for its MOT. Tests and checks in order to meet a minimum standard laid down by law, while also making suggestions to improve safety. Fire Risk Assessments have been a legal requirement since 2006 and are the foundation for fire safety in almost all non-domestic premises. Businesses must make the safety of customers and staff alike a priority. Risks can be minimised by taking a structured look at the premises and all its associated fire risks.
In pursuing this aim, it’s important to break the risk down into two components: the likelihood of a building catching fire and the consequences of it happening. In the first instance, a Fire Risk Assessment will identify possible hazards; and in the second, it considers measures that will keep people safe.
Examples of such measures are: means of escape; emergency lighting; fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers. It’s also important to look at the standard of fire safety management on offer. The procedures; staff training; drills; maintenance and testing. A Fire Risk Assessment must also confirm that the business is regularly undertaking its own low-level inspections.
Moreover, the process involves interviewing management to gain an understanding of the business and the hazards it faces. We take an overall view of the building. Where fire escapes are, the method of evacuation used in case of emergency, how familiar employees are with the building and its safety features. Then we look at the specifics.
Although Fire Risk Assessments are now undertaken by third parties such as ourselves, the process is still under the auspices of the Fire Service. Therefore, if safety is inadequate, the business in question will get a letter from fire authority explaining as much; if it’s very inadequate. Meanwhile, they may be served with an enforcement notice and could leave themselves open to prosecution for failure to carry out a proper Fire Risk Assessment.
And remember. There’s not just a risk to life if fire safety starts to lapse. There’s also a cost to the business in terms of downtime and potential environmental impact.
Expert Advice from HR Fire & Safety
We offer a thorough, expert service. Our team is fully trained and qualified, meaning that we are all-too-aware aware of possible pitfalls. An inexperienced assessor might put the right measures in place but at too high a cost. Then again, they might be too cautious and not fully understand the risks. More worrying still is the thought that they might miss something.
We offer three simple steps to improved fire safety:
Carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment at a time that suits you
Sending you a comprehensive working document that highlights the steps needed to make your building safe. These are the actionable insights that improve fire safety
Updating your current fire safety equipment with our quality range of products
(Our Fire Risk Assessments meet the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005.)
When did you last conduct a full Fire Risk Assessment? To ensure that yours is accurate and up to- date, contact us today.