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Fire risk assessments are a legal requirement for all UK businesses and organisations employing more than on person. The requirement is that each organisation must identify and nominate as the responsible person. The responsibility is for all the individuals that work at the premises and visitors.

Who should carry out the assessment?

The person carrying out the Fire Risk Assessment must be competent (knowledgeable, trained and experienced).

Premises cover by the order

• Offices and shops
• Premises that provide care including care homes and hospitals
• Pubs clubs and restaurants
• Leisure Centres
• Industrial Units
• Factories and warehouses
• Places of worship
• Community halls and premises
• Houses of multiple-occupancy

The five steps of fire risk assessment

1. Identify fire hazards
2. Decide who could be harmed
3. Evaluate the risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or if more needs to be done, existing precautions are adequate or if more needs to be done
4. Record your findings and actions
5. Review and revise


Following the initial fire risk assessment it is recommended that a review of the risks takes place on a regular basis by the employer/responsible person, in particular it there are changes taking place within the workplace.

Changes to fire regulations Oct 1st 2006

From the 1st October 2006 any building which held a fire certificate under the old fire precautions act 1971 will have the certificate revoked and this should now have been replaced by a fire risk assessment.

Does it apply to me?

If you are an employer, self employed, (with business premises) a voluntary organisation, or have control over any premises. If you employ five or more people, own licensed premises or have an Alterations Notice in force, you must keep a hard copy of your fire risk assessment on the premises and available for inspection by the relevant local authority, the enforcing authority which is usually the local fire authority must be satisfied with your safety measures, if not they will tell you what you need to do.

If they find major problems they can restrict the use of your premises or close them altogether until you deal with the problems.