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Fire risk assessment

How to conduct a fire risk assessment on your business premises and your responsibilities.

Last updated:
29 October 2020
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1 Purpose of a fire risk assessment

A fire risk assessment is a methodical way to evaluate your premises and make it safer from fire. It is also a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO) 2005 for:

  • employers
  • owners
  • landlords
  • occupiers of business or other non-domestic premises.

Check our full list of the premises covered by the FSO, along with links to further information for each.

Your fire risk assessment will help you identify:

  • any risks that you can remove or reduce
  • the fire precautions you need to take to protect people.

By assessing the activities that are carried out in it you can minimise the risks. 

Good fire safety management saves lives and protects property.

2 Your responsibilities

If you are the employer, owner, landlord, occupier, building manager, managing agent, or anyone else with control of business or non-domestic premises, you are known as the 'responsible person'. You are responsible for fire safety in the property. If there’s more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities.

As a responsible person you must:

  • regularly assess and review fire risks for your premises
  • tell staff and/or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • put in place and maintain adequate and appropriate measures to remove or reduce the risk to life
  • plan for an emergency
  • provide staff with information and training around fire safety.

You must also keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has five or more people.

Further information on fire safety in the workplace is available on GOV.UK.

Landlords and managing agents

Landlords and managing agents have particular legal obligations regarding fire safety and protecting their properties and tenants.

Legislation requires that landlords carry out fire risk assessments in all areas of their properties. It is not as simple as ensuring there are a couple of fire extinguishers to hand – fire safety largely depends on the potential risks and the building.

3 How to carry out the assessment

You can find guidance about how to conduct a fire risk assessment, including what you need to consider and a full list of assessment guides for different premises, on GOV.UK.


Become a registered fire risk assessor

You can apply to be registered as a fire risk assessor in the UK through the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE). You will need to demonstrate that you know the principles of fire safety and fire risk assessment. You can find out more on the IFE's Fire risk assessors and auditors page.

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