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Guide to Fire Risk Assessment & Commercial Property

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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 imposes various duties on the person deemed responsible for fire safety at your property.

The responsible person will most likely be the landlord, the tenant, or a managing agent. It is very important that you check your lease, contracts, and other documents you hold to ascertain if you are the one responsible.

The regulations require the responsible person to take “such general fire precautions as will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of any of his employees; and in relation to relevant persons who are not his employees, take such general fire precautions as may reasonably be required in the circumstances of the case to ensure that the premises are safe.”

What this means in practice is that the responsible person must enact and then regularly review a fire risk assessment of the whole of the premises. If your business has 5 or more persons, you are also required to keep a written record of your assessments and reviews.

To help out with your assessment, the Government has handily provided the following 5 point plan:

  1. Identify the fire hazards.
  2. Identify people at risk.
  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

In carrying out the above, you should address:

  • emergency routes and exits
  • fire detection and warning systems
  • fire fighting equipment
  • the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
  • an emergency fire evacuation plan
  • the needs of vulnerable people, for example, the elderly, young children, or those with disabilities
  • providing information to employees and other people on the premises
  • staff fire safety training

For more up to date information on your responsibilities, click here