It is a legal requirement that all premises have a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment. If more than 5 people are employed the significant findings must be recorded. Only private dwellings are exempt from this.
In 2012 the UK fire brigades attended 192,600 fires, 350 people died and 10,500 people were injured by fires. In 2009 insurance companies paid out £3.6 million every day for damage caused by fire. These costs only cover the actual damage from fire, there is a mountain of hidden costs, such as loss of orders, replacing stock and equipment, finding accommodation, staff retention and customers going elsewhere all of which will hit your business.
It is estimated that following a serious fire 75% of SMEs will go out of business within 2 years.
What does a Fire Risk Assessment do?
Apart from fulfilling your legal duty, a Fire Risk Assessment provides a fire health check for your business.
A risk assessment is an organised and methodical look at:
- the premises
- the activities carried out there
- how likely is it that a fire could start and cause harm to anyone
- existing hazards from fire and the current control measures
- potential hazards from fire to the building and those present and the recommended control measures.
A Fire Risk Assessment follows a nine step fire risk assessment process. The steps are as follows:
- Obtain relevant information about the premises.
- Identify the fire hazards.
- Assess the likelihood of a fire.
- Determine the physical fire protection measures present.
- Assess the fire safety management processes present.
- Assess the likely consequences to the occupants in the event of a fire.
- Assess the fire risk for the premises.
- Formulate an action plan.
- Recommend a suitable interval for the review of the Fire Risk Assessment