Fire Risk Assessment Facts v Fiction

6th February 2015

Do you know your legal responsibilities when it comes to fire risk assessments? Find out the fact and fiction with this article from Vulcan Fire Training.


Fire Risk Assessment Facts v Fiction | Vulcan Fire Training
I have fewer than 5 employees so I don’t need to do a fire risk assessment.
Fire safety legislation for virtually all existing commercial and domestic buildings requires that the fire precautions in the premises be based on a fire risk assessment which, therefore, must be carried out. This applies to workplaces’ with fewer than 5 employees, however the fire risk assessment has to be carried out but does not need to be documented.

A responsible person within your organisation must carry out a fire risk assessment.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), a responsible person within your organisation must arrange for a fire risk assessment to be carried out, compile or review a fire emergency plan, and implement and maintain a fire risk management system.

Fire extinguishers are complicated to use.
In fact, most fire extinguishers are relatively easy to use, however it is recommended to have training using a fire simulator to give you an understanding of how fire can spread, and practical instruction on the use of extinguishers.

I could receive up to 2 years in prison if I don’t follow fire safety duties.
Your local fire and rescue authority can take action if they think fire safety measures aren’t adequate. You could receive:

  • An informal notice - suggesting safety measures.
  • A compliance notice - problems that must be fixed.
  • Alterations notice - for higher risk premises which require you to liaise with the enforcing authority before making any changes.
  • Prohibition notice - issued for dangerous conditions in your premises which prohibit or restrict the use of the premises with immediate effect.

Penalties for not complying with fire safety regulations can range from community service, up to £20,000 per offence to unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison for more serious cases.60% of premises are considered broadly compliant.

I have done a fire risk assessment so I don’t have to do anything else.
You need to address any significant hazards highlighted in the fire risk assessment, review your fire risk assessment periodically, or if you make any changes to the premises in question; bringing in new equipment etc. 

You must also ensure that you carry out regular checks on fire alarms, escape routes, emergency lighting, fire doors etc., and ensure all new staff received a fire induction explaining the fire procedures, and all staff received period fire refresher training and partake in regular fire drills and record the findings.

To ensure you're fully compliant book on one of Vulcan Fire Training's fire risk assessment courses. For full listings click here.