If you are an employer of more than five people, the law requires you to carry out a fire risk assessment and keep a written report of your findings. This can cover an awful lot of ground, especially if you have a large building, or many buildings, with a considerable number of employees.
You also have to review your assessment on a regular basis and especially if any changes occur. This could be something as simple as taking on additional employees. It could also be the case that an existing employee who was trained as a fire marshall has left your company. This means that you are now one person short and will need to train someone new. You might also simply move some machinery around your factory floor which could have the effect of blocking what was previously an escape route. Almost any sort of change could lead to an alteration in the fire risk.
When carrying out the assessment you need to identify any fire hazards, identify people at risk, and evaluate, remove, or reduce the risk. There is a lot to take into consideration because you need to consider your fire warning system, fire-fighting equipment, the emergency routes and exits from the building, and prepare a fire emergency evacuation plan. You also need to consider staff training, and the needs of any disabled people who may be on the premises: for instance, if you run a retail business, you very probably have disabled people in your store every day.
You also need a fire safety evacuation plan showing fire escape routes that are clearly marked and as short and direct as possible, and there have to be enough escape routes for everyone to escape. Emergency doors should open easily and not be blocked by equipment or anything else. You may also need emergency lighting, and you need to train staff on what to do in the case of fire and arrange a suitable meeting point for them.
Consider what to do for people with mobility problems. For instance, there could be wheelchair users on an upper floor and the lift is unusable. Are there people who can help them get down the stairs?
Then you need to consider your fire alarm system and carry out regular checks to ensure that everything is working correctly. You also need to have fire exit signs which are easily visible and in the right place.
If all of this seems like an onerous task – and it most certainly is – you may find it a lot simpler to use our fire risk assessment services. All of our assessors are fully trained, and having undergone extensive training with a vast knowledge is fire safety.
We can take the whole thing off your hands and provide you with the written report that you need.