Fire Risk Assessments – Meeting Your Safety Responsibilities

We never know what might lie ahead, but we can make sure we’re prepared for every eventuality. Fire risk assessments are a vital safety procedure for any non-domestic premises and you have a legal responsibility to ensure that you have an up to date fire risk assessment, carried out by a professional risk assessor.

The new fire safety legislation introduced in 2006 states the need for risk assessors to undertake a full assessment on every building used for employees, customers or members of the public – it also applies to landlords who rent houses for multiple occupancy (HMO’s). Fire risk assessments are designed to identify fire hazards and individuals at risk, evaluate these risks and produce a report of the findings. There is also a responsibility to regularly review the risk assessment and make revisions for changes in circumstances or new potential hazards – as with the original assessment, fully trained risk assessors should be used.

Having a proper fire risk assessment doesn’t just mean that you’re complying with the law and keeping people (including yourself) safe – your risk assessor will help you to manage your premises to the safest of standards, which in turn could help you to get a better deal on your business insurance. Even in the event of an unavoidable fire, a thorough risk assessment will provide you with more effective methods of control and evacuation, limiting risk to personal injury and death. Fires in the workplace cost British businesses millions of pounds every year – make sure that yours isn’t one of them.

While legislation states that there must be at least one ‘responsible person’ in charge of assessments and maintenance of fire safety equipment on your premises, employing the services of a professional assessor, on at least a yearly basis, will put you in the best position for ensuring compliance and minimising risk.

A professional fire risk assessor will work alongside the nominated ‘responsible person’ to carry out comprehensive health checks on all of your fire safety equipment, including alarms, extinguishers, escape routes and emergency lighting. Any concerns of non-compliance that assessors find will be discussed with you in detail and they will advise you of the necessary steps that you need to take in order to rectify them. The risk assessment report that they provide as a result of their visit can be submitted to your insurance company to demonstrate that your property has been assessed and that you are meeting your legal obligations.

Fire risk assessors can often be booked at short notice, so if you don’t have a current fire risk assessment in place, find the number of a qualified fire risk assessor today and arrange for a visit – don’t leave it until it’s too late.

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