Fire Risk Assessment
Ensuring an assessment of the fire risks within your premises has been carried out is a key part of the "responsible person's" role. Performing a thorough risk assessment and acting on your findings will help to reduce risks, ensure compliance with legislation and could save lives.
There is no set format for completing a fire risk assessment, but the guides produced to complement the order offer some suggestions. To assist you in completing a fire risk assessment and preparing you in case we choose to audit your premises we have produced a fire risk assessment proforma which is available free to download below along with guidance on how to complete it. However you are not obligated to use this or any other proforma. (Risk assessment proforma and guidance)
Recording Evidence of premises maintenance and staff training
If our officers visit to audit compliance with fire legislation at your premises they will ask to see evidence that you have been adequately maintaining your premises and training your staff, we have produced a log book which is available free to download below that can be used to assist you in recording such evidence. However you are not obligated to use it (log book)
Changes to your Premises
In most cases you will be able to make changes to your premises but, you must remember that you will be responsible for managing the risk you create and you will still have to comply with the planning process and Building Regulations. You will need to revisit your fire risk assessment and look at how the changes will affect the risk in your premises, assess if your risk management measures are adequate and if you need to adopt further measures.
In some higher risk premises, for example, those in which the risk to life can be said to be higher than normal or where particularly complicated fire safety arrangements are required Essex Fire and Rescue will be able to issue an 'alterations notice'. An alterations notice can require a responsible person to inform Essex Fire and Rescue of any changes they intend to make to premises where those changes would create a significant increase in the risk.
A Worked Example of a Fire Risk Assessment
Initially, a simple single line drawing of the premises roughly to scale /proportion, should be drawn, showing any relevant structural features and the use of particular areas e.g. production, storage, office accommodation, storage and plant etc. A copy of the plan will be useful should you have a fire at your premises, to give to the fire service when they arrive to assist them in firefighting operations. The plan can then be used to indicate hazards (step 1) and persons at significant risk (step 2). It will assist to identify where combustibles and ignition sources come together, or are in close proximity and the action to be taken.
A SIMPLE NOUGHTS AND CROSSES SYSTEM CAN BE USED ; CIRCLES (RED) FOR COMBUSTIBLES AND CROSSES FOR HEAT / IGNITION SOURCES.
The action taken (step 3), is common sense and in the main inexpensive. Should any requirements prove to be expensive, interim measures may be put in place until they can be implemented. (PROVIDING PERSONS ARE NOT PUT AT AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK). All that remains to do is to make a record of the assessment, prepare the action plan, provide staff training (step 4), monitor and review the risk assessment as appropriate (step 5).