top of page

The Steps of a Fire Risk Assessment

A fire risk assessment is designed to help you identify the fire hazards and risks that could emerge at your premises. It allows you to rank them in both likelihood and threat levels, determining which risks are acceptable and which require action to control them. A fire risk assessment should be carried out by someone with sufficient training and experience or knowledge of fire safety.

Five Steps To A Risk Assessment

Identify the fire hazards

Fires occur when heat (a source of ignition) comes into contact with fuel (anything that burns) and oxygen (air). To prevent a fire from developing, you need to keep sources of ignition and fuel apart.

When identifying the opportunity for a fire to start, consider all potential fuel sources, ignition, and oxygen. Think about heaters, lighting, naked flames and electrical equipment as the big

Questions to ask;

  • Have you found anything that could start a fire?

  • Have you discovered anything that could burn?

Identify the people at risk

You have to consider everyone to be at risk if a fire emerges. Some may, however, be at a greater risk than others because of where or when they work. Consider people who may be less familiar with the premises like visitors or customers. Generally speaking, children, the elderly or disabled people are considered particularly vulnerable. This should be considered in your assessment.

Questions to ask;

  • Have you identified who could be at risk?

  • Have you ranked them in order of likelihood?

Evaluate, remove or reduce the risk

The evidence for this section is populated from the discoveries in the first two stages. What are the risks of a fire starting and to the people inside and around the premises?

Removing and reducing the risk comes from eliminating the potential for an accident. Even if its occurrence seems unlikely, consider how to remove any potential hazard developing. Assess the situation and see if there is potential for an ignition source to be met with a fuel source and ignite. Removing this means you’re taking action to protect your premises and people from fires.

Questions to ask;

  • Have you assessed the risks of fire in the workplace?

  • Have you addressed the risk to staff and visitors?

  • Have you separated any source of fuel or ignition?

  • Have you secured any source of fuel that a potential arsonist could use?

  • Have you protected your premises from accidental fire or arson?

  • Is there a plan in place for you to be notified of a fire?

  • Do you have a plan to alert others?

  • Have you assigned a designated person to call the fire brigade?

  • Who will make sure everyone gets out safely?

  • Have you planned escape routes?

  • Does your safety equipment work, and have you tested it regularly?

Record your findings

Keep a record of any fire hazards and your efforts to reduce or remove them. If your premises are small and operate with less than five regular visitors, it’s not a legal requirement to keep a fire risk assessment, but it is recommended. However, it is a legal requirement to store and regularly update an assessment of your premises regularly has five or more occupants.

You must have a clear plan in place to prevent a fire and keep occupants safe should a fire occur. If your premises are shared with more than one company, coincide your plans with them to ensure seamless execution and avoid wasting time.

Keeping your staff regularly in the loop and trained on your fire risk assessments is essential. It gives your staff peace of mind that a sound plan is in place and increases the chance of eliminating potential risks.

Questions to ask;

  • Have you recorded your findings and the actions you’ve taken?

  • Have you decided everyone’s roles and responsibilities if a fire should develop?

  • Have you discussed the plan with your body of staff?

  • Have you considered those around you in your plans?

  • Have you devised a training plan to pass on to your staff?

  • Did you consider everyone can fulfil their role?

Review and revise

As circumstances change, it’s essential your fire risk assessment reflects this and is updated accordingly. If you identify significant changes in risk or make substantial changes to the plan, you must filter down the information to other members of staff and those you share the premises with. If appropriate, re-training of staff might be needed.

Questions to ask;

  • Have you made any changes to the buildings

Are There Any Legal Requirements Involved with Fire Risk Assessments?

The importance of a fire risk assessment means they should be completed with British Standard regulations in mind. Failure to comply with regulations would result in a void risk assessment and ultimately a risk to life and property. Fire risk assessments must be reviewed regularly by a professional. It is recommended that should the following occur; a review should be carried out;

  • 12 months have passed since the original assessment occurred

  • If the building’s purpose substantially changes

  • If the structure of the building, for example, the layout, changes

  • If the number of occupants substantially changes

  • Every five years, a new assessment should be conducted.

Significant changes to a building’s layout, its purpose, of the volume of regular occupants can considerably impact its fire safety plans. Therefore, a review of a fire risk assessment must be conducted if any of these occur. Another legal requirement to consider is based on the number of regular occupants in the building. If this number exceeds five, the fire risk assessment must be in writing and readily available.

At London Fire Solutions, we pride ourselves on being a UK market leader in fire protection, providing a ‘one-stop’ service. We offer surveying, manufacturing, installation, certification and maintenance of fire doors, screens, fire alarm systems and other fire protection solutions. Contact our professional team today for more information on fire risk assessments!

Related Articles:



bottom of page