Fire Risk Assessment Template
What is a Fire Risk Assessment and Do I Need One?
A fire risk assessment is a required assessment on a building which helps determine if any action needs to be taken to make the building safer and the occupants more prepared in the instance of a fire. The regulatory reform (fire safety) order of 2005, makes it a requirement for workplaces to conduct a fire risk assessment. There are a few exceptions in the order, but this order applies to most businesses. Fire risk assessments should be conducted on a minimum of every 5-year basis, with regular annual reviews of the assessment and its findings. If the building acquires a new layout or addition, another assessment should take place. If there is a significant change to planned occupants in the building, another assessment should also take place.
What is Included in a Fire Risk Assessment?
A fire risk assessment should focus on identifying any and all fire hazards, what people are at risk (employees, customers, visitors etc…), recording of the assessment findings, communicating the findings and risks, taking action on risks that can be removed, and reviewing and updating the fire risk assessment regularly, or at a minimum of annually. Your fire risk assessment should focus on finding ways to take action to reduce the overall probability of a fire occurring, as well as limiting the possibilities of a fire. Your risk assessment should prioritize low, medium and high risk items or areas to prioritize which actions to take first.
What Items are Assessed in the Fire Risk Assessment?
Every business will vary in its identifications of the assessment, but most fire risk assessments should ensure the following is assessed:
- The building layout, construction and use
- The number of occupants, and identifying any particularly vulnerable occupants
- Documentation of assessments and actions taken to reduce risk
- Limiting of fire spread
- Heating devices that can cause fires
- Designated smoking areas have prevention measures in place
- Electrical equipment that could ignite a fire
- Emergency lighting is functional
- Fire safety signs are used in correct locations
- Contractors introducing fire hazards
- The configuration and clear access of escape routes
- Combustible materials are kept away from housekeeping areas
- Evacuation drills are documented and completed regularly
- Testing and maintenance of the building fire safety systems
Who’s Responsible for a Fire Risk Assessment?
A fire risk assessment has to be assigned a “responsible person” by law. The responsibility can also be shared amongst multiple “responsible persons”. A building’s responsible person is usually the owner, landlord, or other designated person by an employer. If you are unsure who your building’s responsible person is, the owner of the building should have that information.
What Are My Responsibilities for a Fire Risk Assessment?
As the designated “responsible person”, that individual is responsible for the following:
- Communicating risks that have been identified in the fire risk assessment
- Conducting the fire risk assessment and reviewing it regularly for updates
- Planning for an emergency
- Providing information, training and safety instruction to staff members, customers, and visitors
- Putting appropriate fire safety measures in place
What if I Don’t Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment?
Since fire risk assessments are required by law, that means they carry the severity of penalty if they are not conducted as intended by the government. Your local fire authority can visit your building and will assess your fire risk assessment and if your findings and actions are adequate. If your assessment has not been completed, or is not updated, or is missing critical information, monetary penalties can be assessed up to unlimited amounts and prison sentences of up to 2 years can be declared.
So Where Do I Start?
Fear not, if you don’t already have an existing fire risk assessment template, or want to make certain your building has one that covers all the required fields, you can access our template below. The United Kingdom Government also supplies several different guides that you can access if you need guidance in completing your fire risk assessment. It is strongly recommended you keep a copy of your fire risk assessment in writing so that you can always quickly access it and use it for communications and regular reviews.
Fire Risk Assessment Template
Notes on filling out this template below
Download: Microsoft Word
How To Fill Use This Template
The designated responsible person should complete this assessment to the best of their ability.
You should attempt to complete all of the assessment sections in full. If you find that a specific section or topic does not apply to your building, you may fill in the section with an “N/A” or “Not applicable” to indicate that the item does not pertain to your building.
At the end of the fire risk assessment, there is a summary section where you can conveniently copy all of your actionable recommendations to reduce hazards or risks. This summary section will help you during your regular reviews to ensure those actions have taken place, or are still being planned for.
Thank you and good luck with the risk assessment!