If you are an employer and have more than five people working for you, the law states that you must carry out a fire risk assessment for your premises. You must keep a written copy of your report and have it available for inspection, and you must also review your assessment from time to time (it is suggested that you do this annually).

You need to consider how a fire could start. Such things as heaters, lighting, electrical processes, activities such as welding or grinding, cigarette smoking, matches, and more can all cause a fire to start. Equally, you need to identify things that could burn. There are obvious things such as fuel, paint, white spirit, and so on, but there are other things such as wood, paper, plastics, foam, and rubber. Perhaps the wall is covered with chipboard or polystyrene.

You also need to think about people. The risk may be greater for some people because of where they work or when – night staff may be at risk. You also have to take into consideration people who are not familiar with your premises or means of escape such as visitors to your office or customers. The elderly, children, and disabled persons are more at risk.

When you have considered this, you need to evaluate the risks of a fire starting, and the risk to people in the building or nearby. Then you need to remove or reduce the risk as far as is humanly possible. Could something be pushed into a heater for instance and knock it over? Do you keep any source of heat and fuel apart? Is there something that an arsonist could easily use to start a fire?

Then you have to consider how you will knowthere is a fire. You could be in your office and a fire could start on yourfactory floor two floors down. How will you warn other people? Have you gotproper escape routes? Who will call the fire service? Do you have extinguishersto hand? Can people find their way out at night if all the lights go out? Doyour staff know what to do in case of a fire?As you can see, there is alot of thought that needs to go into this in order for everyone to be safe. Thesimplest thing to do is to have UK-Fire Risk Assessments come to your premisesand undertake the evaluation for you. We provide you with the written reportyou are required to keep in order to comply with the law.