What are the 5 steps of a Fire Risk Assessment?
1st Jul 2021
As explained in another blog, fire risk assessments will have two parts to their documentation. The first part is the review itself and the second is a list of recommendations to make sure the building becomes fire safety compliant.
A fire risk assessment should be carried out by the Responsible Person of the building or assigned to a third-party risk assessor.
This report can be very detailed and it is always recommended to get a qualified fire risk assessor to complete this.
The five main steps that will be looked at in the fire risk assessment:
After identifying fire hazards and risks associated with them, it is important to evaluate what to do to get remove the hazard or reduce the risk of the hazard. Things to think about including in your fire safety measures are as follows:
- Are your staff all trained and know what to do in a fire?
- Are all alarm systems working and can be heard by everyone in the building?
- Have you got appropriate sufficient fire extinguishers, are they visible and are your staff trained to use them?
- Is the fire safety equipment regularly checked?
- Have you assessed the potential for heat, smoke, and fire to spread uncontrollably through your building?
- Can people use the escape routes safely?
2. Identify hazards
Looking around the buildings it is essential to note down anything that could reasonably expect to cause a fire. It might be worth speaking to people that spend a large amount of time in the building as they may have noticed things that aren’t obvious to you. This should include all hazards in the building including fuel sources and sources of oxygen.
3. Identify people at risk
For each hazard specified in the first step, it is crucial to be clear about who might be harmed. It will help managing risk. This doesn’t have to be specific names but you can identify groups of people who may be near to the fire hazard and how they will be at risk.
Some occupants may have different requirements as to why they will be at risk such as wheelchair users not being able to use the building lift.
Recording all the findings of the assessment and sharing them with the occupants of your building will encourage everyone to put the results of your fire risk assessment into practice. You will need to be able to show:
- Proper checks were made
- All obvious and significant hazards were dealt with
- The number of people who may be affected
- The precautions are reasonable
- The remaining risks are low
Things are likely to change regularly. It makes sense, therefore, to review what you are doing on an ongoing basis. Look at your fire risk assessment and think about whether there have been any changes? Are there improvements you still need to make? Have other people spotted a problem? Have you learnt anything from accidents or near misses? Make sure your fire risk assessment stays up to date.