Every employer is responsible for fire safety at every premise under their control and must appoint a ‘responsible person’ for fire safety. The 'responsible person' must manage any fire risk on your premises, and to do this they need to carry out a fire risk assessment. The process is similar to risk assessment carried out for other aspects of health and safety.
- Identify the hazards particularly anything that can start a fire, anything that can burn in a fire, and sources of oxygen which will intensify a fire.
- Identify who is at risk. This may include people who work close to or with fire hazards, people who work alone, or in isolated areas such as storerooms, children or parents with babies, elderly people and disabled people.
- Evaluate the risks and consider the precautions required to remove or reduce the risk. Wherever possible get rid of the fire hazards you identified - e.g. replace highly flammable materials with less flammable ones, keep anything that can start a fire away from flammable materials, and reduce any hazards you can't remove entirely.
Once you have reduced the risk as far as you can, look at any risk that can't be removed and decide what fire safety measures – alarms, fire extinguishers, evacuation plans, etc. are required and whether existing arrangements meet those needs. Record the findings of the fire risk assessment and implement any additional measures required. Routinely review and update fire risk assessments and fire safety measures as necessary. See also: Fire Safety; Personal Emergency Evacuation Procedures; Risk Assessment.