A fire risk assessment is an examination of a facility to determine its fire risk and, if appropriate, provide recommendations to make the building safer. Your fire risk assessment does not need to be documented if there are typically fewer than five inhabitants on the premises. Thus, a document isn’t always involved. However, we advise that a fire risk assessment should be in writing because that makes it simple to communicate the results and guarantee that any suggestions are followed.
Are fire risk assessments subject to any legal restrictions?
There are some special rules for conducting fire risk assessments. It is necessary to regularly check the fire risk assessment. It is advised that the following be covered in the evaluation:
- After the initial assessment is completed (every 12 months)
- A new assessment should be carried out every five years.
- If the structure’s function has significantly changed
- if the layout or other aspects of the building’s structure have altered
- If the inhabitants have undergone a significant transformation
Your fire safety measures may be greatly impacted by changes to a building’s layout, its intended use, or the nature of its inhabitants. Consequently, it is crucial that you review your fire risk assessment if any of those have happened.
What buildings need a fire risk assessment?
The fire risk assessment must be in document form if there are five regular residents or more. Your residential fire risk assessment documentation is legally needed if your apartment complex or commercial building regularly hosts more than four residents at once. No matter the size of your property, it is advised that your assessment is in writing.
In a few additional circumstances, you will be obliged to have a written fire risk assessment for flats even when there are fewer than five regular tenants. They are as follows:
- The fire brigade has directed you to do this (for example, after a visit)
- If a license is necessary for your location,
It is necessary to document the key conclusions and recommended actions.
In the case of rental properties, the situation is a little more difficult. There is no need for a fire risk assessment if you rent to a family, couple, or a single person because the property classifies as a private residence; however, you will still be responsible for other fire safety measures.
However, if your property is an HMO (a residence with more than five occupants living in more than one household) or if you’re the freeholder or manager of an apartment building, then the same regulations that apply to businesses apply, and you must do routine fire risk assessments.
The two components of a fire risk assessment must be produced, whether they are written down or not. The real review, which rates the facility’s fire safety against a number of criteria, comes first. The list of demands in the second section should be followed if the building is in compliance with fire safety regulations. It is crucial that you follow these suggestions because, in the end, they’re what will keep your building safe.
What is the consequence of not conducting a fire risk assessment?
You face prosecution and heavy fines without a fire risk assessment and, more precisely, the necessary fire safety measures in place. Extreme carelessness cases may result in a prison sentence as the punishment.
Who is qualified to perform a fire risk assessment?
A “competent” person may perform a fire risk assessment in accordance with legal regulations. It doesn’t necessarily imply that you must hire a certified fire risk assessor. It does, however, imply that whoever does your fire risk assessment must be at ease evaluating your building or premises in light of each of the several aspects outlined above.
They should also be capable of the following:
- Detail and properly document all of their important results.
- If any improvements are required, create a fire safety action plan and document those steps in writing.
- If an action plan is required, have it put into practice.
- Continuously update the fire risk assessment.
A professional fire risk assessor undergoes extensive training and is well-versed in all current regulations and legal requirements, including how they should be applied to various types of structures. Therefore, hiring a professional to do the job is always advised.