Fire Risk Assessments
Why do I need a fire risk assessment??
As an employer (and/or building owner or occupier) you are required to carry out and maintain a fire safety risk assessment. This is under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, [RRFSO] which applies in England and Wales, and under Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act. The fire safety assessment can be carried out either as a separate exercise or as part of a single risk assessment covering other health and safety risks.
‘The Responsible Person’ - anyone who has control of premises or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be a ‘responsible person’.
For example, it could be:
• The employer for those parts of premises staff may go to.
• The managing agent or owner for shared parts of premises or shared fire safety equipment such as fire-warning systems or sprinklers.
• The occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations if they have any control; or any other person who has some control over a part of the premises.
• Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be times when a number of people have some responsibility.
How can Firewatch help?
We have been carrying out fire risk assessments for many years. Our assessors have completed courses at the Fire Service College and with leading trainers CS Todd Associates, who are instrumental in writing British Standard code of practices. We take the view that a fire risk assessment should be collaborative with the client, as nobody knows your business, property and practices as well as you.
The assessments carried out by the team at Firewatch are not a standard ‘tick-box’ style, but are thorough and detailed and should be used by your business as a working document and we will assist you step by step.
The RRFSO places a duty on the responsible person to carry out a fire risk assessment. Responsible persons under the RRFSO are required, following a fire risk assessment, to implement appropriate fire safety measures to minimise the risk to life from fire and to keep the assessment up to date.
The RRFSO allows you to bring in a competent person to help you carry out the risk assessment.This may be some- one who you feel may have the necessary knowledge or expertise to carry out this task, including someone you know who has already carried out a fire risk assessment or a fire safety specialist whom you pay. If you do choose to get advice or help from others, the responsible person is still legally responsible for the risk assessment.
Contact Firewatch to discuss the requirements of the RRSFO – 0800 783 4171
Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment
If you are the Responsible Person (or Duty Holder in Scotland) you hold the responsibility for the adequacy of your company's Fire Risk Assessment by law, rather than the assessor themselves. To ensure you are using a competent provider you should be using a BAFE registered company.
This scheme has been developed by a group of industry experts to help the building’s Responsible Person (or Duty Holder in Scotland) meet the requirements for Fire Risk Assessments under the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
This Scheme was launched in May 2012 and has been developed for organisations who provide Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment services for others. It is designed to give assurance to those commissioning Fire Risk Assessments and provide confidence in the quality and relevance of the services being provided.
It is essential that the fire risk assessor is a competent person, and the fire risk assessor has a duty of care to the organisation on which legislation imposes a requirement for the fire risk assessment.
However, the ultimate responsibility for the adequacy of the fire risk assessment under the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, rests with the responsible person or duty holder (which is normally a company), rather than with the fire risk assessor. However there has been enforcement action taken against Fire Risk Assessors if the responsible person has been considered to have taken all reasonable steps when appointing an assessor, but the assessor has been proved not to be competent. This scheme recognises the importance of providing fire risk assessments that comply with an acceptable set of criteria.
Life Safety Fire Risk Assessment SP205 specifies that organisations have the required technical and quality management capabilities and risk assessment staff meet appropriate standards. The scheme has been designed to meet the requirements of fire risk assessment providers large and small, recognising that there are many individuals working as assessors.