What is the legislation that requires you to have a Fire Risk Assessment?
The law changed in 2005 where a Fire Risk Assessment is required by ‘The Responsible Person’ of a property (Examples listed above). This legislation is called The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
‘The Responsible Person’ under this legislation is a person which can be defined as the following:
A Business Owner
A Senior manager of a property
A Managing agent of properties for example blocks of flats
Someone has significant control over a property
Direct extract below from the law
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Risk assessment 9. —
(1) The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him by or under this Order.
(3) Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date and particularly if—
(a) there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid; or
(b) there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates including when the premises, special, technical and organisational measures, or organisation of the work undergo significant changes, extensions, or conversions,
(c) and where changes to an assessment are required as a result of any such review, the responsible person must make them.
What happens if I do not have a Fire Risk Assessment completed?
Article 9, of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a legal requirement on The Responsible Person to have a Fire Risk Assessment completed. Again, The Fire Service have the powers to close the premises and prosecute ‘The Responsible Person’ for failing to have a Fire Risk Assessment report completed.
Who can carry out a Fire Risk Assessment?
The simple answer to this is anyone who is ‘Competent’. Anyone who has sufficient skills, training and qualifications to complete the task at hand. For example, a small open plan office of 5 staff, a member of staff may have sufficient competency to carry out the Fire Risk Assessment. However, the larger the premises, the more activities carried out, the more complex the assessment will be. In most cases there is insufficient skills within the premises for a member of staff to carry out this risk assessment.
I am a Responsible Person and I delegate a member of staff to complete the Fire Risk Assessment, is this acceptable?
This is acceptable provided The Responsible Person ensures the person carrying out the Fire Risk Assessment is ‘Competent’ and has been provided sufficient training and ongoing training to ensure they keep their level of knowledge up with the constantly changing legislation. If, the member of staff is not deemed ‘Competent’ by The Fire Service, The Responsible Person could well be held responsible for not having a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment completed and again The Responsible Person could be prosecuted for this.
We cannot stress the importance of having a Fire Risk Assessment completed by a ‘Competent’ Person.
How often must the Fire Risk Assessment be reviewed once completed?
The Fire Service have deemed that it should be reviewed annually as best practice. This ensures that any changes to legislation are identified and incorporated in the reviewed report.
From a report from The Chief Fire Officers association it advises the following:
‘Any fire risk assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date. There is no definition of regularly but annually is generally accepted to be best practice.’
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