A professional fire risk assessment is the process of evaluating your workplace to identify potential hazards, examine the effectiveness of your current fire safety measures, and recommend necessary changes. Ultimately, it is an essential step in complying with legal stipulations and ensuring the safety of all those who work inside your building.
To conduct a fire risk assessment, an inspector must walk through your workspace and identify all possible sources of fire, including electrical hazards (overloaded or faulty sockets), chemical hazards (flammable or toxic liquids and gases), and physical hazards such as blocked fire exits or the storage of combustible materials. They must also evaluate the adequacy and accessibility of emergency equipment such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and smoke detectors.
Once they have completed their evaluation, the assessor must create a record of their findings and determine what actions must be taken to reduce fire risks in your building. This may include replacing flammable materials with less hazardous alternatives, separating combustibles from ignition sources, implementing a no-smoking policy, creating an emergency plan and practicing evacuations, and more.
A responsible person must ensure that all of the above steps are carried out, and is generally the owner of the building if it is not leased, or a manager for business premises, tower blocks, and blocks of flats. However, it is crucial that all occupiers make it clear who will be conducting the Fire Risk Assessment to avoid any confusion.
It is also a good idea to have a designated individual on-site who will be responsible for carrying out daily tasks such as weekly testing of the fire alarm system and checking escape routes are free of obstructions. This is important so that if there is ever a fire, all of your people will know what to do and who they can go to for help.