Fire Risk Assessments

Fire Risk Assessments based on PAS79 and meeting The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 legislation.

Having spent a number of years carrying out Fire Safety audits as a Fire Safety Officer at Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service, Simon is uniquely placed to provide a second opinion or guidance of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Simon can also assist with queries on PAS79.

Whether you are a small shop or a business with multiple sites, Simon is happy to have an initial chat.

quantitative points schemes can also employed.

What is a Fire Risk Assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a process involving the systematic evaluation of the factors that determine the hazard from fire, the likelihood that there will be a fire and the consequences if one were to occur.

There are both qualitative and quantitative methods of risk assessment that can be used. Semi quantitative points schemes can also employed. From our experience, a basic qualitative fire risk assessment based on PAS 79 will suffice for most situations.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, a fire risk assessment is necessary in virtually all buildings in England and Wales, other than domestic dwellings. Similar requirements apply in Scotland under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, and in Northern Ireland under the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.

Fire Hose
Pipes and Pressure

Scope of Survey

The scope of the survey involved in a fire risk assessment would include the following particular aspects of fire safety:

  • Fire loss experience.

  • Fire hazards.

  • Fire prevention.

  • Storage and handling of flammable liquids and gases.

  • Housekeeping.

  • Means of escape.

  • Compartmentation.

  • Flammability of linings.

  • Emergency escape lighting.

  • Fire safety signs and notices.

  • Fire detection and fire alarm systems.

  • Fire extinguishing systems and appliances.

  • Smoke control systems.

  • Facilities for use by the fire and rescue service.

  • Arrangements for management of fire safety.

  • Fire procedures.

  • Training and drills.

  • Testing and maintenance.

  • Records.


Is it a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment?

A Fire Risk Assessment is a legal requirement. If you are responsible for a building, for example a employer, owner or occupier of premises that are not a 'single private dwelling' (a private home), you need to make sure a suitably competent person completes a Fire Risk Assessment. It is your duty to identify fire risks and hazards in your premises and take appropriate action.

In addition, if five or more people work at your premises or your business has a licence under enactment in force, you’ll need your fire risk assessment to be a written record. Make sure you review your risk assessment regularly and whenever significant changes have been made that would have an impact on it. It’s good business sense as well as a legal requirement, often businesses don’t recover after a fire, and effective fire prevention starts with properly understanding the risks. 

Who would check my Fire Risk Assessment?

Your Local Fire and Rescue Service. Inspecting premises is part of their duty to keep people safe from fire.

An important part of this duty is making sure that people responsible for commercial premises are following the rules. They enforce various legislation, chiefly around fire safety, including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006. 

If your premises aren't safe, or you haven't done an assessment, you may be fined. If they believe people are at risk, they may even have to close your business until you can make it safe for employees and members of the public.

Simon has extensive experience in this area having carried out audits whilst working as a Fire Safety Office for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Can my local Fire and Rescue Service carry it out for me?

Unfortunately not. If you don’t have the expertise – or time – to carry out a fire risk assessment yourself, appoint us as a specialist to do it for you.

Can I be inspected at any time by my local Fire and Rescue Service?

Yes. They can visit your premises at any time to make sure you are following the rules and keeping employees and members of the public safe. They generally make appointments, though can visit your premises at any time if they believe that an unannounced visit will better determine whether the law is being complied with.

Can I carry out my own Fire Risk Assessment?

The person carrying out the assessment has to have sufficient training to make judgements about the fire risks and the solutions required. The potential punishment for failing to meet your duties in relation to fire risk assessments is a prison sentence of up to two years, as well as an unlimited fine.

Therefore, if you have doubts as to your ability to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment yourself, it is highly recommended to engage the services of a professional fire risk assessor to ensure you comply to all relevant regulations.