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Fire Risk Assessments - What is the law?

28th May 2021


A fire risk assessment is a process that identifies and assesses the fire risks in a property.

The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to identify measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk of a fire happening, and to protect people and property in the event of a fire.

Under new Fire Safety legislation introduced in 2006, fire risk assessments must be carried out by a competent person, and failure to do so could result in fines or imprisonment. In this article, we will take a look at the law surrounding fire risk assessments, and what you need to do to ensure your property is safe.

Businesses no longer need a fire certificate, but evidence of assessments will be required.

If your building has more than 5 regular occupants, the Fire Risk Assessment must be in writing.

It isn’t necessary to write down the findings if your building has less than 5 occupants unless you have been instructed by your local Fire Brigade or if your building is required to have a license. It is always recommended to write it down no matter what to ensure recommendations have been implemented and provide evidence of compliance if needed after a fire.

It’s important for businesses to have a comprehensive fire risk assessment in place because it helps protect employees from harm in case there is ever an emergency situation related to fire or smoke inhalation.

It also helps create a safer work environment by identifying potential hazards before they become serious problems. Finally, having an up-to-date assessment will help businesses comply with relevant legislation and avoid costly fines or penalties due to noncompliance.

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Once a Fire Risk Assessment has been completed it must be reviewed on a regular basis, this includes:

  •  12 months after the original assessment is done
  •  Every 5 years a brand-new assessment should be conducted
  •  If your building purpose has changed substantially
  •  If the layout of your building has changed
  •  If there has been an increase/decrease in the number of occupants
  •  If a new work process has been introduced which may affect the level of fire risk.

Any changes to the layout or number of occupants of the building can dramatically alter the risk of fire and the fire safety plans alike. This makes it vitally important to regularly review a Fire Risk Assessment.

As a result of a Fire Risk Assessment being undertaken, there must also be a policy created. This strategy should detail preventative measures aimed at reducing the risk of fires starting, along with an evacuation plan should the worse happen.

It’s worth noting local fire brigades can ask to inspect or even copy your Fire Risk Assessment documents at any time.

Not only does it help protect employees from harm, but it also helps ensure businesses remain compliant with relevant regulations and avoid hefty fines due to noncompliance. By understanding what is required by law when conducting a fire risk assessment, business owners can help ensure their premises are safe while avoiding unnecessary legal troubles down the road.


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Red Box Fire Control is proud to celebrate over 35 years in the fire safety industry.

Over this time we've grown in knowledge and expertise, focussing on supporting businesses with their compliance in a friendly yet efficient manner.

We are confident that we're able to provide our customers with a high level of professionalism and industry insight. Add to this our commitment to integrity, and when it comes to fire safety you can expect peace of mind unmatched by other suppliers.

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