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Fire risk assessment – action required by the employer
Posted by David Cant on March 1, 2009

 Fire Risk Assessment

Where the fire safety order regulations apply to your workplace YOU MUST carry out a FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT and make an EMERGENCY PLAN.

A FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT is a structured and a systematic examination of the workplace to identify the hazards from fire. Once identified, you must then decide if a hazard is significant, who is at risk and whether the existing fire precautions are adequate so that the risk associated with the hazard is acceptably low.

If the existing fire precautions are not adequate you must take additional action to minimise the risk either by removing or reducing the hazard or by providing adequate control measures.

If you employ five or more people you must record your FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT and keep it available for inspection by the fire authority.

You must also make an EMERGENCY PLAN to plan the action that your employees and other people in the workplace should take in the event of a fire.

If you employ five or more people then you must have a written EMERGENCY PLAN.

This EMERGENCY PLAN should be kept in the workplace, be available to your employers / employees and the employees’ representatives (where appointed) and form the basis of the training and instruction you provide. Any written plan should be available for inspection by the fire authority. In drawing up the emergency plan, you need to take the results of your risk assessment into account.




• Identify all the significant fire hazards.
• Identify who is at risk from each fire hazard.
• Evaluate if existing control measures reduce risk to a tolerable level.
• Determine what additional measures are required (include – action required/by when/by whom).
• The means of escape from the premises in case of fire.
• The means of detection and giving warning in case of fire.
• The means of fighting fire.
• Planning for an emergency – including specific responsibilities and actions.
• Training, information and instruction to staff about fire precautions in the workplace.
• Effective maintenance and testing of fire safety equipment and precautions.

When changes are made in your workplaces which have an effect on the fire risk, people at risk or a control measure, you must review your FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT to ensure that any significant changes are effectively addressed.

The fire safety measures for your workplace need only be sufficient to deal with your particular fire risks. If sufficient measures are already in place then further action may not be necessary.


Six other legal duties you need to know


1. You must nominate people to undertake any special roles identified in your emergency plan.
2. You must consult your employees (or their representatives) about nominations to perform special roles and about your proposals for improving the fire precautions.
3. You must inform other employers in the building about any significant risks you found which might affect the safety of their employees and co-operate with them about measures to reduce the risk.
4. If you are not an employer but have any control over a workplace you also have responsibility to ensure compliance with the regulations in those parts of the building over which you have control
5. You must establish a suitable and readily available method of calling the emergency service.
6. Your employees are required to co-operate with you to ensure the workplace is safe from fire.


Related articles
 Fire risk assessment – dont get your fingers burnt
Fire risk assessment – your legal responsibility
Coming soon – How to conduct a fire risk assessment



Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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