Is Your Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) Up To Date?
A lot of business owners are not aware of the importance of Fire Risk Assessments. Under UK fire safety law, employers must carry out a fire risk assessment that looks at removing and reducing the risk of fire.
Who is responsible?
- Business owner or employers
- Premises owners
- Those involved with premises management e.g facilities manager
- The premises occupier
Your Fire Risk Assessment should be reviewed and updated continuously to keep it a ‘live’ document. In particular, it should be updated following any change in premises, processes, or the number of people employed, or if you’ve had a fire related incident. It is good practice to review it at intervals not exceeding 12 months.
If you do not have sufficient measures in place, a lack of knowledge is not a reasonable defence in law. The government have produced very helpful guidance of their expectations, which can be found at; https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments
For a minor penalty, you can face a fine of up to £5,000, but major penalties can have unlimited fines and the responsible person can face time in prison.
What is the difference between having a professional Fire Risk Assessment completed and following the templates on the .gov website?
If you do not have an FRA in place, or recently made changes to your building you should have a new professional FRA completed, then, provided that no significant changes occur, the FRA can be reviewed and updated annually using the .gov websites and the professional FRA as a template. Intech Fire & Security recommends a professional review every 2-3 years.