If you are a small business, you may not have thought about the impact a fire risk assessment could have on your insurance. Many insurance companies insist on seeing a recent fire risk assessment report before they will cover you. If you do not have a current and valid Fire Risk Assessment, your insurance company will more than likely consider your policy invalid as you haven't complied with the necessary legislation to help reduce fire risk.
Undertaking a fire risk assessment has always been a good fire risk management approach and since the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) and The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (FSSR) came into force, it is now a legal requirement.
Under the law a 'responsible person' (usually the owner, employer or occupier of a business or industrial premises) must carry out a fire risk assessment. Responsible persons under the Order are required, following a risk assessment, to implement appropriate fire safety measures to minimise the risk to life from fire; and to keep the assessment up to date.
The purpose of the new Fire Safety Order was to simplify fire safety legislation and reduce the number of enforcing authorities that Companies have to deal with.
Fire Risk Assessment
A Fire Risk Assessment must be carried out by a competent person of all Company facilities and workplaces.
The purpose of the Fire Risk Assessment is to identify fire hazards, check that precautions and systems are in place and that fire safety risks are being properly managed. Here is a short list of items that need to be considered:
- Ensure a Fire Risk Assessment is undertaken by someone competent
- Consider who may be at risk which includes visitors, neighbours and those who may have to fight a fire at the premises
- Reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably possible
- Ensure early detection and warning systems are in place and working correctly
- Take measures to make sure there is adequate protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored
- Ensure that the building layout protects occupants from fire and smoke
- In the event of a fire or emergency ensure people know what to do having received training
- Ensure occupants can get out of the premises safely through designated fire escape routes and exits
- Ensure fire systems and procedures are maintained, tested and practiced
- monitor and review when necessary and in particular if circumstances change on site
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