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The 5 Steps To Carrying Out Fire Risk Assessments

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 fire risk assessment and acting on your significant findings will help to reduce risks, ensure compliance with legislation and could save lives. Assess your fire risk and work out how to keep people and your premises safe. Make a plan for how to improve fire safety measures in your premises. Keep a record of your assessment and use it to carry out regular reviews. Click here for in depth information.

Step 1:
Step 1- identify the hazards
  • Sources of ignition
  • Sources of fuel

What Is a fire hazard?

Think about how a fire could start on your premises. You need to go around your premises, inside and out, and look for hazards. Fire starts when heat comes into contact with fuel (anything that burns) and oxygen in the air. You need to keep heat and fuel apart.

For example, look for:
  • naked flames;
  • heaters;
  • electrical equipment;
  • signs of smoking;
  • matches; and
  • anything else that gets very hot or causes sparks.

Look carefully at kitchens where people work near naked flames, laundry rooms, and guest bedrooms where people may bring matches and candles or areas where they may smoke.

Step 2:
Step 2- identify people especially at risk
  • Members of staff
  • People not familiar with the premises
  • People working alone
Who is at risk?

Everyone is at risk if there is a fire. You need to think about yourself, your family, your guests, your staff (if you have any) and anyone else who visits the premises.

Some people are likely to be at more risk than others. For example, young children, the elderly or those with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable, as well as those who are not familiar with the layout of the building.

Step 3:
Step 3- Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risks
  • Measures to prevent fires
  • Measures to protect people from fire

What is your plan to keep people safe?

Using what you have found in steps 1 and 2 you should be able to remove or reduce the hazards you have found. For example, think about whether a heat source, such as a hair dryer, could fall, be knocked or pushed into something that would burn.

Is your electrical equipment modern and working properly?

Now think about what you need to do if there is a fire on your premises How will it be detected and how will you alert people on the premises?

For example, do you have an Automatic Fire Detection system? Are the detectors in the right place? Is the system tested regularly?

Can you hear the alarm in each bedroom? Is the alarm loud enough to wake someone who is sleeping? What action will you take to protect people on your premises and make sure everyone can find their way out in an emergency? You need to make sure your guests (and any staff) know what to do if there is a fire. Will everyone on the premises be able to find their way out in an emergency? Have you practiced a fire drill? Do you have Equipment to allow someone to put a small fire out? Is it simple to use or would people need Training?

Step 4:
Step 4- Record, plan, instruct, inform and train
  • Record significant findings and action taken
  • Prepare an emergency plan
  • Inform relevant people, provide instruction, co-operate and co-ordinate with others
  • Provide training
Record, plan & train

Record, plan and train It is a good idea to keep a written record of the significant findings from your risk assessment.

This should include: any fire hazards you have found and what you have done to reduce or remove them; and any more action you plan to take to improve fire safety arrangements and when you plan to do it.

Step 5:
Step 5- Review & maintain
  • Keep the assessment under review
  • Revise where necessary
Maintain your fire risk assessment

Maintain your Fire Risk Assessment Your written record should be seen as a helpful, living document. Itís not something that should be completed and then forgotten.

You should review the assessment regularly and, if necessary, update it. Over time, the risks may change, particularly if you make any changes in the way you use your premises, or if you change the layout.

If your review shows new or different risks, you must make a plan to deal with these to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible.

It makes sense to keep a written record of the findings of your risk assessment and any new plan that you make.

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