No matter what size your business is, every employer must follow fire safety legislation. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, you must have fire safety procedures in place, ensuring the health and safety of your employees and non-workers.
Fire safety assessments can be complex and difficult to navigate around. They can become time-consuming and require guidance from safety experts. However, not meeting fire safety regulations can lead to fines, business closure, and even imprisonment.
Read about what considerations you should include in a fire risk assessment template for your workplace. And how they stand as key factors for employee safety, health, and welfare.
What is a fire risk assessment template?
A fire risk assessment is a review that is conducted in a building, which assesses fire risks and hazards. All the significant findings are identified and documented into a fire risk assessment template.
The template helps to evaluate what methods you need to prevent fire hazards from happening, by permanently removing or minimising them. With a standard risk assessment, employers only need to document it if they have five or more workers. However, all businesses must have a fire risk assessment, no matter the size.
To comply with the fire safety laws, HSE enforce fire precautions under:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
- The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.
Remember that under these laws, you are legally responsible for the safety and welfare of everyone in your building. Not just your employees.
How to use a fire safety risk assessment template?
It is your responsibility to have a solid overview of all existing fire hazards within your business. You can use a simple fire risk assessment template to document how to meet fire safety legal obligations and control risk measures. We can outline the fire risk assessment requirements like this:
Appoint a responsible fire safety officer
Employers should appoint a competent person who handles fire safety in the workplace. Ideally, this responsible person should have fundamental knowledge on fire safety and can identify potential fire hazards.
They must know how to prevent fire hazards and can apply suitable protection measures without requiring fire-risk training.
A qualified advanced fire risk assessor should complete these assessments in high risk premises – such as those with sleeping accommodations, or where dangerous tasks are performed.
Identify potential fire hazard risks
When identifying fire hazards, consider potential sources for what causes fire. This includes removing hazardous materials, supplies, and equipment. You should also consider how to store dangerous substances safely.
Combustible supplies, flammable materials, and structural features should all be identified as fire hazards. You can also document these hazards in your fire risk safety assessment template.
Plan for evacuating people at risk
Anyone who enters your business is at risk of fire hazards. Whether or not they work there, you hold responsibility for the safety and welfare of all people found in your workplace.
Have a clear evacuation plan in place, confirming safe passages out of the building. Because some people could be at greater risk because they work at night, alone, or are not familiar with the premise.
Vulnerable people who are at higher risk include:
- Elderly people.
- Pregnant people.
- People with disabilities.
There are three fire prevention measures to consider with fire risk assessments:
- Detecting fire.
- Means of escape.
- Using fire-fighting equipment.
Make sure you have a sufficient fire detection and alarm systems in place, and that they are all regularly maintained.
This also applies to firefighting equipment - keep them updated and replace them when they expire.
You should ensure that all emergency routes and fire exit signs are clearly displayed and easy to understand. Corridors, stairwells, and doorways should be wide enough to allow people to leave the building safely.
Remember that your priority is to get everyone out of the building, as quickly and safely as possible. Leave the fire services to deal with by the fire.
Record risks, emergency procedures, and fire safety training
Once you have conducted a fire risk assessment, you can then directly control the fire hazards you have uncovered.
Use safety legislation for guidance on handling fire hazards for your type of building and equipment.
Create an action plan for your fire safety officers, which outlines specific tasks for preventing fire hazards.
Set time frames and dates to evaluate the measures and reflect on how they help reduce the chances of fire risks.
Download our fire risk assessment template
Keeping legally compliant with fire safety can become complicated for some businesses. Remember you have a duty of care for every person found on your premise.
Make sure that you comply to the fire safety policy standards and carry out regular reviews, especially after safety incidents that may have occurred.
From guidance on fire safety for multiple companies, to creating a fire safety risk assessment template for small businesses, Peninsula can offer practical advice on fire safety for your workplace.
Peninsula provides expert employment health and safety advice and can help create fire safety risk assessments perfect for your business. We can also introduce safety training for controlling fire hazards, ensuring the welfare of everyone in your business.
Peninsula clients also get access to 24/7 HR consultation for safe working requirements. And if you are not yet a client, you can still enjoy free advice from one of our business specialists. Simply call us on 0800 029 4391.
Disclaimer: This template is provided ‘as is’ and Peninsula Business Services Ltd excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the template to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Peninsula Business Services Ltd is not liable for any errors or omissions in the template and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. Use of the template is entirely at the risk of the User and should you wish to do so then independent legal advice should be sought before use.
Use of the template will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the above terms.