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Why doing one fire risk assessment is not enough...

View profile for Stephen Gerring
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Regularly – that’s the term given to how often a fire risk assessment should be carried out, according to government guidelines.  However, it’s likely that many businesses will conduct an initial fire risk assessment and overlook revisiting this again.  

But what happens when the photocopier is moved? When extras desks are put in the office as you grow in numbers, or when extra racking reduces access ways in the warehouse?  The chances are that the need for a new fire risk assessment is overlooked.

It can happen.

A London-based letting agent received a £100,000 fine for failing to act on fire risk assessment, after pleading guilty to three breaches of legislation. London Fire Brigade carried out an audit of the communal areas after a fire broke out in a block of flats owned by the company. Issues identified included:

  • Fire Safety Breaches
  • Failing to act on significant findings
  • Failure to make an emergency plan
  • Ensuring that fire doors were self-closing
  • Failure to install emergency lighting

Getting it right

If you are the ‘responsible person’ then failure to conduct a fire risk assessment and act on the findings could result in prosecution, or worse. 

Our 4 steps to conducting a successful assessment and addressing issues:

  • Make sure the person conducting the assessment is trained and competent.
  • Ensure that you keep a record of your assessment, along with a plan featuring fire exits, firefighting equipment, refuge points and sites of previous fire incident locations.
  • Prioritise any action required.
  • Complete the actions in a timely manner, and in order of priority.

It’s recommended to conduct a fire risk assessment annually, and certainly when any changes to the working environment occur.  This would also be a good time to update and test your fire escape procedures, and to remind your team about fire safety.

Do get in touch with one of our specialists if you require any further information or assistance with this or any other health & safety issue.

01622 759900