The Five Steps to Completing a Fire Risk Assessment
1: IDENTIFY THE FIRE HAZARDS
This means looking for sources of heat, fuel and oxygen which together might lead to a fire. You need to identify:
• Sources of ignition such as naked flames, heaters or some commercial processes
• Sources of fuel such as built up waste, display, textiles or overstocked products
• Sources of oxygen such as air conditioning, medicinal or commercial oxygen supplies
• You should also consider what existing measures are in place to control the hazards
STEP 2: IDENTIFY THE PEOPLE AT RISK
You will need to identify anyone who may be affected, such as:
• People working near to fire hazards
• People working alone or in isolated areas (i.e. roof spaces or storerooms)
• Maintenance staff, contractors, passers-by and people present outside normal working hours such as, cleaners and security guards
• Visitors and members of the public
• Individuals and groups who may be especially at risk, e.g. young or inexperienced workers, people with mobility or sensory impairment, pregnant workers, children or parents with babies, elderly or infirm people etc.
STEP 3: EVALUATE, REMOVE, REDUCE AND PROTECT AGAINST FIRE RISK
This involves evaluating the level of risk in your premises. You should remove or reduce any fire hazards where possible and reduce any risks you have identified.
• Replace highly flammable materials with less flammable ones
• Make sure you separate flammable materials from sources of ignition
• Have a no smoking policy
• Ensure adequate inspection and testing of electrical installations and equipment
When you have reduced the risks as far as possible, you must assess any risk that is left and decide whether there are any further measures you need to take to make sure you provide a reasonable level of fire safety. The evaluation of risk will take account of the fire risk assessor’s opinion of the likelihood of fire, the extent of injury that could occur and the number of people who could be affected. All equipment and systems required by legislation must be subject to suitable testing and maintenance.
STEP 4: RECORD, PLAN, INSTRUCT, INFORM AND TRAIN
It is always good practice to record the significant findings of the fire risk assessment, the steps that you have already taken and those that you plan to take in order to reduce the risk. In many cases the law requires that the significant findings of the fire risk assessment and details of those persons especially at risk are recorded.
• Record significant findings and actions taken to remove/reduce the risk from fire
• Develop and implement an appropriate emergency plan
• Inform and instruct relevant persons on the actions to be taken in the event of fire
• Deliver training to employees, particularly those with specific duties (fire marshals).
STEP 5: REGULARLY REVIEW THE FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT
• Whenever you have cause to consider it is no longer valid, e.g. after a significant incident or "near miss"
• If there has been a significant change in the workplace, e.g. changes to plant, equipment,
processes, or substances used etc.
• If there has been a significant change in the number, character or needs of persons who use the building