A 'responsible person' must make sure a fire risk assessment is carried out and regularly reviewed under current fire safety legislation.
What is a fire risk assessment?
A fire risk assessment is an organised and methodical look at:
- your premises
- the activities carried on there
- the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises.
This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep your employees, and others who may be affected by your work or business, safe.
As from 1 October 2023 you must record the fire risk assessment in full (including all the findings) and the fire safety arrangements for your premises in all circumstances, regardless of the number of employees.
What is its purpose?
A fire risk assessment will help you:
- identify fire hazards
- reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm to as low as reasonably practicable
- decide what physical fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of people in your premises if a fire does start.
Can I conduct the fire risk assessment myself?
As a responsible person, you can conduct a fire risk assessment if your premises is small to medium size and non-complex, and you are competent to do so. You can find out more about this on Your legal responsibility.
The Government has published guidance for fire safety in small premises.
If your premises falls outside the scope of the above small premises guidance and/or you do not have enough training or experience to make you a competent person, you can find guidance on finding a fire risk assessor on the National Fire Chief Council website.
Can the Fire and Rescue Service conduct the fire risk assessment?
As the enforcing authority we cannot conduct a fire risk assessment for you.
What else do I need to consider?
As well as your fire risk assessment, you also need to consider your fire safety in relation to policies and procedures such as:
- evacuation plans
- fire safety equipment
- drills and training.
There are also areas that a professional fire risk assessor will be able to advise you on.
For more guidance, see GOV.UK's Fire safety and evacuation plans.
Where can I find guidance about the fire risk assessment?
You can find guidance on GOV.UK, including what you need to consider and a full list of assessment guides for different premises:Fire safety in the workplace (GOV.UK) (external link)