What are the legal requirements for carrying out fire risk assessments in the UK?

Fire risk assessments are a necessity in the UK, not just in terms of practical information and insights but also legal compliance. There is a specific set of requirements that relates to the legal requirements for these assessments and the larger the building involved, the more it becomes necessary to get professional support.

Why are fire risk assessments required?

It is a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment in any building where people may be working. This arises from the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 in Scotland and the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in Northern Ireland. Penalties for a failure to comply with these requirements could range from something as simple as a fine and an order to carry out the assessment to criminal sanctions if there are consequences for the lack of compliance.

What are the legal requirements?

Fire risk assessment must be carried out by a "responsible person." This will normally be whoever has the primary responsibility for the building, such as an owner or manager. The purpose of the fire risk assessment is to identify what steps need to be taken in order to prevent fire and also to keep people safe in the building.

The fire risk assessment must be carried out to a competent standard. For smaller premises that normally means that the owner or manager can successfully complete the assessment. However, for larger sites it may be necessary to employ a professional fire risk assessor. In either case, whoever does the fire risk assessment must be comfortable with the basis for the assessment and what to look for. Often a professional fire risk assessor is a simpler choice, whatever the premises.

The fire risk assessment must cover a number of key areas. These include identifying those people who are at risk, as well as the potential fire hazards. It will also cover analysis of the risks and ways that they should be dealt with or removed. Findings must be reviewed and an emergency plan prepared.

Fire risk assessment must be regularly reviewed. It’s important to ensure that this is refreshed frequently so that it is always up to date.

What will a professional risk assessor tell you?

A professional can support your business in fire risk assessment in a number of ways, including:

  • Reviewing the building against the relevant design codes
  • Providing recommendations as to how to upgrade the building where it doesn’t comply with codes
  • Making judgments about the level of risk that is involved
  • Providing solutions to risks, including the most cost effective options available to the business

Fire risk assessment is a must for any building in the UK where there is a workforce, no matter how small, sporadic or temporary they may be. A professional risk assessor will not only help to identify the potential risks your business faces but also to provide the most cost effective solutions currently available.

Get in touch with Hillmoore Fire Protection Ltd today to find out more.

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Hillmoore Fire Protection Limited are specialist contractors for all forms of passive fire protection. The ethos and aim of Hillmoore is to provide our clients with an un-rivalled service for the Design, Supply and Installation of all passive fire protection requirements, be it within a new build, refurbishment or upgrading project, or as part of the change of use of a property.