Fire Risk Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Law on Fire Safety?
Why Is a Fire Risk Assessment Required?
How Long Will the the Assessment Take?
What Is a Fire Risk Assessment?
What Are the Key Points That the Assessment Covers?
What Are the Benefits for My Business?
Who Is Responsible for Making a Business Premises Compliant?
What Do I Have to Do as the Responsible Person?
What Will I Receive after an Assessors Visit?
If I Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, Will I Be Fully Compliant with the Regulation?
Do I Need to Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment Every Year?
Does the Assessment Require Measures to Be in Place Such as Fire Escapes and Alarms?
Will Fire and Rescue Visit My Premises?
What Happens If I Do Not Comply with Regulations?
How Much Does a Fire Risk Assessment Cost?

What Is the Law on Fire Safety?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the associated Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 came into effect and replaced over 70 pieces of fire safety law. Almost all buildings, structures, and open spaces are covered by the Regulatory Reform Order. However, the Order does exclude residential buildings which are occupied by a single family unit.

Examples of buildings:

Why Is a Fire Risk Assessment Required?

A fire risk assessment is required to reduce the chance of a fire occurring and to reduce the amount of damage that a fire can cause if it does happen. The assessment will also reduce the chance of death or injury to residents, employees and the general public in the event of a fire. The assessment will also reduce the chance of a fire spreading to adjacent buildings. You also need to have a fire risk assessment as it is a legal requirement for all buildings.

How Long Will the the Assessment Take?

The time it takes for the assessment to be carried out will vary depending on the size of the building. However, this will generally take 2 to 3 hours.

What Is a Fire Risk Assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a report which provides a detailed and comprehensive listing of fire risks which are easy to understand. The findings in the report will be summarised in an Executive Summary and the major concerns will be listed in a separate section. An action plan will also be included to assist you with the creation and implementation of a safety plan. The report will satisfy all regulatory requirements and will be accepted for any insurance purposes.

What Are the Key Points That the Assessment Covers?

There are 5 key points that the assessment will cover:

  • Identify the fire hazards
  • Identify people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk
  • Record, plan, inform, instruct and train (if required)
  • Review regularly

What Are the Benefits for My Business?

There are a number of benefits that a fire risk assessment offers for your business. The assessment will reduce the chance of a fire which reduces the damage that can be caused. Your business will also be safer for everyone and you will be complying with legal requirements.

Who Is Responsible for Making a Business Premises Compliant?

Fire safety will be the responsibility of the landlord or owner/occupier of a business, residential premises or non-domestic premises. These people are known as the responsible person and will be in charge of ensuring the building complies with the regulations.

What Do I have to Do as the Responsible Person?

In order to comply with the law, you will have to carry out a fire risk assessment. Following the assessment, you will need to implement the appropriate fire safety measures. This will help you minimise the risk to life in the event of a fire.

What Will I Receive after an Assessors Visit?

After your building has been assessed, you will be provided with a fire risk assessment report.

If I Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, Will I Be Fully Compliant with the Regulation?

Simply carrying out a fire risk assessment is not enough to be fully compliant with the regulations. This is only one of the fire safety duties that you have to complete. However, a comprehensive assessment will be a good starting point for you to achieve compliance with the regulations.

Do I Need to Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment Every Year?

The guidance on this states that a fire risk assessment will need to be carried out at “regular” intervals based on the risk of the building. You should look at completing an assessment when there are any structural changes to the building, major changes in staff or a change in the function of the building. When the building changes ownership, you should also complete a fire risk assessment.

Does the Assessment Require Measures to Be in Place Such as Fire Escapes and Alarms?

Each building will have a range of measures which can possibly be installed. However, the fire risk assessment will help you determine which will be the most effective for the property as well as the most cost-effective for you.

Will Fire and Rescue Visit My Premises?

This is possible as they are the enforcing authority for the Regulations and will need to develop a risk-based inspection within their area. However, they will always provide notice before they arrive. A fire risk assessor will be able to liaise with them on your behalf.

What Happens If I Do Not Comply with Regulations?

When there is a risk and it has not been managed correctly, the Fire Authorities will have a duty to enforce compliance with the regulations. When this happens, they will serve a notice on you. In the more serious cases, penalties can lead to a fine for each offence. There is also the chance of an unlimited fine or up to 2 years imprisonment for the responsible person.

How Much Does a Fire Risk Assessment Cost

There are a number of common factors which can impact on the cost of your fire risk assessment. The factors below will influence the price of the assessment as they determine how long the inspection will take and the potential risks involved.