What Is a Fire Risk Assessment & Why Do I Need One?
Posted: 13/12/2021
4 minute read
What is a fire risk assessment?
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What Is a Fire Risk Assessment & Why Do I Need One?

Fire risk assessments are designed to help you protect the people in your building from the threat of fire. By minimising risk and taking all the necessary precautions recommended from your fire risk assessment, you’ll be saving lives and protecting assets.

What is a fire risk assessment? Is it a legal requirement? Who should be carrying it out? What does it cover? These are all great questions and we’ll be answering them in this handy guide.

Let’s start with the legal stuff.


Is a fire risk assessment a legal requirement?

The short answer is yes. All commercial premises must have a fire risk assessment by law in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Plus, if you employ more than five people, you need to keep written records to comply with guidelines set out by the government.

Should you neglect this duty, you leave yourself open to devastating consequences, not only when it comes to legal issues and issues around insurance claims, but also when it comes to safeguarding lives.


Who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment?

Having a fire risk assessment carried out is the responsibility of the ‘responsible person’ for a building. This could be the building owner or the owner of the business, but regardless, they are the ones responsible for ensuring a fire risk assessment is conducted and that the findings are followed up.

That being said, the ‘responsible person’ may not have the right level of expertise or knowledge to properly carry out a fire risk assessment themselves, which is why there are professional assessors available.

At Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we carry out fire risk assessments for schools, landlords, office buildings and retail units – call us to book yours today.


What does a fire risk assessment include?

There is plenty that a fire risk assessment covers, but there are five essential things it does:

  1. Identifies the fire risks in your building. These could be sources of fuel, oxygen or ignition, essentially anything that would contribute to a fire triangle.
  2. Identifies the people at risk in your building. These could be those with mobility issues who would need assistance in the event of a fire or those working more closely with heat and open flames.
  3. Evaluates any risks then highlights how to remove them, how to reduce them and ways to protect against them. This can be something simple like checking for fire signage or something more major such as suggesting flammable materials be kept in a different place.
  4. Record. Plan. Inform. Instruct. Train. These are five things that must happen. A record must be taken, plans put in place for emergencies, staff and residents should be informed of the plans and training should be provided for staff to give them relevant skills.
  5. Setting of a review date. Your fire risk assessment should be regularly reviewed and altered should anything change about the use of your building or the way it is staffed.


How often do I need a fire risk assessment?

As we mentioned at the end of the last section, as part of the fire risk assessment you should be planning a review. The law itself doesn’t dictate how often this should be, but keeping it up to date is the responsibility of the ‘responsible person’.

Aside from regular fire risk assessments as a common practice, there are a number of other reasons you might want to have a fire risk assessment carried out again:

  • When the structure of your building has changed
  • When the function of any part of your building has changed
  • When new, potentially hazardous materials are kept onsite
  • When a fire safety incident has occurred
  • Where fire safety equipment has suffered damage
  • Where the total number of staff in your building changes
  • Where staff with disabilities or mobility issues are hired (to address emergency plans)


If you need a fire risk assessment for your building to ensure you remain compliant with the law, or if you’d like to learn more about what they involve, contact our team at Surrey Tech Services Ltd. We perform thorough and professional fire risk assessments for businesses and commercial premises across London and the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough.

Call today and we’ll be happy to help you.

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