Fire Risk Assessment
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Order) applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space.
Although there are a small number of exclusions such as transport, the Order applies to almost all premises which do not constitute a single private dwelling, including the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.
Under the Order, anyone who has control of premises or
anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems
may be a ‘responsible person’.
The law therefore directly affects anyone who is:
• responsible for business or premises to which the public have access
(for example employers, owners or occupiers); or
• a contractor with a degree of control over any premises.
The Order places a general duty on the responsible person
• to ensure the safety of all relevant persons on their premises
• ensure the safety of all other persons who may be affected by fire at their premises
• to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and
• to implement appropriate and adequate fire safety measures
to minimise the risk to life in the event of a fire to a level
that is as low as reasonably practicable.
Specifically the responsible person must:
• carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks
• consider who may be especially at risk
• eliminate or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably practical
and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risks that are left
• take specific measures to make sure there is protection if flammable or
explosive materials are used or stored
• create a plan to deal with any emergency, and in most cases, keep a record of the findings from the fire risk assessment and
• review the fire risk assessment to ensure that it is kept up to date
Appointing a competent person
Although a competent person(s) can be appointed to ensure that fire safety measures in a premises are implemented and managed, the ultimate responsibility for compliance with the law remains with the Responsible Person.
Where a competent person has been appointed it is incumbent upon the Responsible Person to prove that they have allocated sufficient resources and information to that competent person to allow them to fulfill their role or roles.
The selection and appointment of a suitably experienced and qualified competent person is critical in protecting the Responsible Person from potential censure, as failings in providing effective fire safety measures can lead to the Responsible Person facing the service of formal Enforcement or Prohibition Notices or even being subjected to prosecution under the Order with penalties ranging from fines levied at between £1000 – £5000 per offence up to an unlimited fine and 2 years imprisonment for serious cases.
Please visit our Fire Safety Regulations page for further information.
STK competencies as Fire Professionals
We are a dedicated fire safety company who specialise in fire safety risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff.
As highly trained and dedicated fire safety professionals we can be trusted to provide you with high quality and detailed fire risk assessments, fire safety compliance training, and in addition, we will work closely with your company to help you create an environment which is fully auditable and manageable with regards to fire safety compliance.
Our company ethos is to follow our goal of preventing unnecessary loss of life and property through fire and if there is anything that we can do to get across the message about the risks posed by smoke, fire or unsafe working practices, we will do it.
Peace of Mind
We are STK and as committed fire safety professionals we are here to provide you with advice, guidance and support to help you attain ‘peace of mind’ that you have done all that you need to do to protect your business and the people involved in your business from the threat of fire.
STK and Fire Safety
When a Responsible Person is intending to appoint a competent person to carry out a fire risk assessment on their behalf, it is vital that they ensure that are purchasing a product which is fit for purpose and legally compliant.
At STK we have created a Fire Risk Assessment system that is fully compliant, suitable and sufficient, pragmatic, detailed and easy to follow and which clearly outlines what the Responsible Person has to do to adequately protect their staff, visitors, clients and the business continuity from the effects of fire.
The documents which we produce are legally compliant and will withstand the detailed scrutiny by the Fire Service in their role as the Enforcing Authority for the Order.
We will underpin each Fire Risk Assessment report with a support package which will see you receiving free technical support for a period of 12 months from the date of issue of the risk assessment.
This means that we are on call to provide you with advice regarding changes you may wish to make in your building or to be present if your premises is audited by the Fire Authority.
At STK Fire and Risk Management Ltd we ensure that all of our Fire Risk Assessors are qualified and trained so as to be able to provide you with suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments that accurately reflect the risks in your premises.
Appointing a consultant to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment
When you appoint a Fire Risk Assessor to conduct a risk assessment on your behalf, you have delegated a very important task to them but you cannot delegate the responsibility which the Order places upon you to ensure that a “suitable and sufficient” fire risk assessment is eventually produced.
This legal duty will remain with the Responsible Person therefore the choice of who you get to do this important work for you is just as important as the work itself.
Before choosing a competent person to carry out a fire risk assessment on your behalf it may be useful to ask some of the following questions to help you decide if they are capable of producing a fire risk assessment for your premises that is “suitable and sufficient” and fit for purpose.
Fire Safety Consultant Competency Questions
• Ask the consultant if they have 3rd party accreditation and if so, who with?
If they purport to hold professional qualifications, ask to see proof of those qualifications, they should be more than happy to share this with you.
• Ask them about fire risk assessments that they may have completed for previous customers, have they worked for companies in similar sectors to your company?
• Ask them about their Quality Assurance processes, are they robust? How do they deal with complaints? Have their previous risk assessments withstood scrutiny by the Fire Authority?
• Ask them about the staff that they have working for them.
It would be a distinct advantage if they employ staff who have experience of working within the Fire and Rescue Service as a Fire Safety Officer and have a professional understanding of how the Order is enforced.
Tips on how to compare Fire Safety System quotations
• Ensure that you write down all of the Fire Safety Consultant Competency Questions and record the responses given by each potential consultant that you interview.
• Obtain alternative quotations for the work – make sure that the work quoted for is exactly the same in scope so that you can compare like for like.
• Ask for proof that they hold sufficient professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance.
• Ensure that the Fire Risk Assessor will approach the task in an impartial and fair manner and that you have access to a complaints procedure if needed.
• Ensure that the scope of the work you wish to be carried out is agreed in writing.
• Check that the work you wish to be carried out will actually be completed by the company you are engaging and that it will not be sub-contracted to another company.
• Ensure that you provide the assessor with any relevant information that they request and give them access to the premises so that they can accurately estimate how long or how complex the task will be.
What can you expect from STK
• We will visit your premises before providing you with a quote so that we understand exactly what your requirements are and can give you a detailed and accurate quote having seen the size and complexity of your building.
• We only ever carry out the work ourselves and will never sub-contract your job to other companies.
• Our fire risk assessment documents have withstood scrutiny by the Fire and Rescue Authority and each assessment will contain a detailed floor-plan which clearly shows the positions of all fire safety related measures that are in your premises.
• We ensure that all of our assessors undergo Continuous Professional Development and we require them to maintain their competency against written STK Professional Expectations & Standards which form part of our Quality Assurance system.
• All of our assessors have gone through Disclosure Barring Service Enhanced (previously CRB) checks and carry suitable proof of this with them.
• We only use assessors who have previously served for at least 30 years in a Metropolitan Fire Service with proven experience of having served for a number of those years within a Fire Safety Department.
• In addition, all of our assessors hold membership of either the Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) or the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM).
• STK Fire and Risk Management Ltd currently carries £5 Million Professional Indemnity, General Liability and Employers Liability Insurance.
As Directors of STK we truly believe that the company ethos of keeping people safe from fire is of paramount importance and will come before anything else that the company does.
Through our time spent in the Fire Service we have all experienced the terrible damage that fire can wreak upon people and property, we want our customers to be able to sleep at night knowing that STK has provided a high quality, detailed and easy to understand assessment of your fire risks.
Please contact us to discuss and concerns or requirements that you may have.
We will be more than happy to pay a complimentary visit to your premises in order to provide you with a quotation.
Ask for Steve or Terry on 01902 824493.
Who may need Fire Risk Assessments carrying out?
• Employers of staff
• Those responsible for Health & Safety within businesses
• Residential Care Homes require fire risk assessments to protect staff and residents alike.
• Commercial Letting Agents – their clients may need fire risk assessments when moving into new premises
• Managed Multi-Occupancy buildings – a fire risk assessment should be in place for all common areas and each occupier should have their own risk assessment
• Housing Associations or Lettings Agencies – residential blocks all require fire risk assessments for the common areas (staircases, corridors used in common by all residents)
• Facilities Management Companies – they manage buildings where clients may need fire risk assessments
• Leaseholders/Owners of empty buildings – even empty buildings may need suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments if a risk can be posed by a fire in those premises affecting persons in the immediate vicinity
Where may STK be able to help
• If you have a fire drill and you have not exited the building within 1 minute.
– Think STK
• If you visit a premises and are not asked to sign in
– Think STK
• If there is no apparent owner, manager or maintenance service for a building
– Think STK
• If you hear of persons taking on new staff
– Think STK
• If you know of a business who has recently been visited by the Fire and Rescue Authority or Health & Safety Executive
– Think STK
• If you know of someone who is moving business premises
– Think STK
• If you know of someone who is opening up new premises
– Think of STK
• If you know of someone who is installing new plant/machinery
– Think STK
• If you know of a company director/manager who has experienced problems with a member of staff having an accident
– Think STK
• If you know someone who has lone workers
– Think STK
• If you know of someone who is complaining about the cost of their insurance premiums
– Think STK
• If you know of someone who is not happy with their current Health & Safety provider
– Think STK
• If you know someone who is complaining about Health & safety or Fire Safety Regulations
– Think STK
• If you ask about a fire risk assessment and the answer is “we don’t have one”
– then Think STK
The table below indicates some of the more significant Formal Notices and prosecution actions served or handed down under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
In each of these cases the Responsible Person would be the employer, person in control of the premises for the purpose of running a trade or business or the owner of the building.
Many Fire and Rescue Authorities routinely publish details of Enforcement action and Prosecutions that they have taken under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. These lists are public and will show any companies or business that have failed in their duties under the Order.
What needs to be in place?
To defend against enforcement action what would constitute a good fire safety management system (measures which are in place to protect their employees and anyone who is lawfully in or near the premises)?
Features of a good fire safety system will include:
• Suitable identification, elimination and control of any materials which may become involved in fire
• Thorough identification of all ignition sources which may cause a fire to start
• Provision of an adequate means for detecting fire and giving warning in case of fire
• Identification of any persons in the building who may be particularly at risk in a fire
• Provision of adequate means of escape from the building and ensuring that everyone in the premises can use it in an emergency
• Provision of risk appropriate portable/fixed fire-fighting equipment
• Adequate training for staff and nominated safety representatives
• Having in place a premises specific emergency plan and fire safety procedures
To ensure that your business is doing all that it should to comply with the law and is providing a safe environment for your staff and visitors, let the professionals assist you with the task of making your business safe from fire.
STK will help you rest easy and create ‘peace of mind’ for you and your staff, visitors and clients by helping you to put in place a fire safety system that is tailored to your needs and is matched to the risks in your particular business.
We create a Fire Risk Assessment product that is a fully compliant, suitable and sufficient, easy to follow and outlines what the responsible person has to do to make their staff, visitors, clients or business safe from the effect of fire.
Our documents for you will withstand the detailed scrutiny from the enforcing body (the Fire Service).
At your side for 12 months
We underpin the document with our technical support for 12 months from the date of its issue; this means that if there are visits from the Enforcing Body we will be standing alongside you.
- Health, Safety & Risk Assessment
- Dynamic Risk Assessment
- Health & Safety Regulations
- Health & Safety Training