July 1, 2014 

Completing fire risk assessments on a regular basis is a vital component of fire safety for businesses of all shapes and sizes. However, carrying out a detailed and accurate fire risk assessment can be a difficult task, especially if the competent person you have selected to manage, review and implement the findings of your risk assessment does not have the necessary training.

As specialists in fire risk assessment and fire safety training, the WFST team take you through the five steps every business or competent person should complete to carry out a fire risk assessment appropriately.

1. Identify risks in your workplace

As the name suggests, fire risk assessments should be used to identify fire hazards within your commercial premises. These hazards include potential sources of ignition such as naked flames, hot surfaces, hot work (i.e. welding, grinding and flame cutting), friction and sparks. Causes for arson or deliberate ignition must also be identified as part of your risk assessment.

Anything that could burn as a fuel should also be pinpointed; textiles, wood, paper and furniture are common fixtures within office buildings and other commercial settings, whilst flammable liquids and gases may feature in industrial environments.

2. Determine who is at risk

As well as identifying potential fire hazards, the people who are at risk within your workplace must also be detailed. All fire risk assessments must refer to the number of people working in the area, such as employees, contractors, visitors and members of the public, and the likely growth of fire based on the hazards detailed previously.

3. Controlling risk

After all risks have been fully documented, the competent person must highlight what measures can be put into place to minimise or completely eliminate these hazards. For example, if your workplace has an abundant of fuel, then taking steps to reduce this offers a route to controlling risk. An appropriate escape plan should also be devised, including fire detection, warnings if a fire were to occur, firefighting methods and equipment, associated staff training and evacuation routes.

4. Record all findings

Any business that has 5 or more people must by law have a written record of fire risk assessment and must put measures in place to effectively reduce or manage the risks identified.

5. Review regularly

To remain effective fire risk assessments must be reviewed and revised on a regular basis so that new risks can be identified and changing control measures can be successfully implemented. Workplace Fire & Safety Training Ltd carry out comprehensive risk assessments to ensure you devise a fire safety management plan that works for you.

To find out more about our dedicated fire risk assessment service, please call 0800 689 4999 or visit our contact page.