A fire risk assessment is legally required for premises that aren’t private dwellings. The person responsible for a building, shop, office, or community centre, for instance, will need to ensure that a fire assessment report is created.
This person could be the owner of the building, the occupier of an office space, or someone who has been designated the responsible person for handling this matter.
As many people don’t have the knowledge to carry out a full fire risk assessment themselves, it is normal that a third party is tasked with completing this process. Fortunately, fire risk assessors are relatively easy to find these days, but this post explores exactly how you can do it.
Finding a Professional to Help You
Professionals who can help you with your fire risk assessment may go by a few different names, including fire risk and compliance advisor, or health and safety advisor, but generally searches for “fire risk assessors” will yield the kind of results you need.
It might also help you to search for the companies that these people work for, such as ‘fire risk assessment services’ or ‘fire and safety consultants’.
Some people assume that Fire and Rescue Authorities have the ability to complete fire assessments, but they do not. They might be able to give you advice on issues relating to fire safety and point you in the right direction for finding a competent assessor, but the responsibility ultimately lies elsewhere.
Competency Criteria – The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC)
The person carrying out your fire risk assessment has the responsibility for ensuring that the assessment fulfils the requirements of the law. Even though entrusting a third party should help you make sure that this happens, it is prudent that reasonable checks are made to ensure that this contractor is competent to take on the work in the first place.
The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC) has published a set of criteria that determines the necessary competency of someone performing a fire risk assessment. This can be used to support building owners and managers in checking a prospective assessor has what it takes.
There are also various online guides and suggestions from fire and safety authorities such as London Fire on what to look for, which can prove useful during this process.
What Does Competency Mean?
A person is regarded as competent if they have sufficient training and experience that enables them to conduct a full and comprehensive fire risk assessment, resulting in a report that will inform the health and safety strategy of a premises.
For simple premises, an employee or the occupier might be able to handle this task when armed with the necessary guidance and advice, as there are fewer variables to consider. However, more complex buildings will usually require someone who has a high level of knowledge and experience.
Whatever the case, this person will need to have the following:
- An understanding of relevant fire safety practices
- An awareness of fire safety laws and regulations
- A willingness to seek additional knowledge, support and advice when needed (external help might be needed to train someone as a company’s fire risk assessor in their first year of being the person charged with this task.)
We Can Help
As a qualified fire risk assessment company with a wealth of experience in our ranks, we are more than capable of handling your assessment for you if you require external support.