Q. What is a fire risk assessment?
A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) involves a full evaluation of your premises in terms of fire safety hazards and provides a clear and concise report on how to minimize fire risks. It will include a review of the provision and positioning of fire extinguishers, fire safety signage and evacuation equipment etc.
Q. How long does an assessment take?
My site visit will usually be completed within a day. I will then 'word process' the FRA report within my office and may return another day to provide you with the findings of the FRA report and give you a full briefing as part of the service. You may of course just wish to receive the FRA report in the post.
Q. Who does the assessment?
I personally will undertake a detailed visual inspection of your premises taking notes using a digital dicta-phone, a digital camera, a laser tape measure, a torch and paper records, as necessary.
Q. Why can't I do the assessment myself?
You can, if you have the time and expertise to do it. Beware that for an untrained person, a FRA can drag on and you need to be sure that the final FRA report meets all of the current legal requirements. You may want to consider leaving it to a professionally qualified and experienced person like me.
Q. Who actually needs to examine and check my FRA report?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and your local Fire and Rescue Service will be carrying out random spot inspections of premises like yours. If businesses, companies or organisations haven't completed a FRA they will be breaking the law.
Q. Will not having a FRA affect my insurance policy for my premises?
Yes - businesses, companies and organisations may not be insured if they haven't done a FRA, this could put your business, company or organisation at serious risk.
Q. Should I wait for a visit by the local Fire Safety Officer so that he can identify any action required?
No - you will need to prepare a FRA report and an emergency action plan for your premises. These should be readily available at any inspection by either the HSE or your local Fire and Rescue Service.
Q. I own a small hotel and don't employ anyone. Which Regulations apply to me?
You will need a FRA even though you did not formerly have a Fire Certificate. You might also consider it appropriate to carry out an emergency action plan.
Q. I own a building that is used as work premises, but I lease it out and have no direct involvement. Do any Regulations apply to me?
The current legislation regarding fire safety in workplaces applies to any person who has control over a workplace. You should ensure that your tenants are aware of the legislation and co-operate with them to ensure full compliance.
Q. I already have a Fire Certificate for my premises. Do I need to take any other action?
Yes - you will need to carry out a FRA report and an emergency action plan. Premises with a former Fire Certificate are not exempt from the current legislation.
Q. I'm a managing agent for a collection of premises. Do I have any responsibilities under the fire safety legislation?
The current legislation regarding fire safety in workplaces applies to any person who has control over a workplace or the common parts of any residential accommodation. You should ensure that your landlords and tenants are aware of the legislation and co-operate with them to ensure full compliance.
Q. I am just one of the businesses in a large, multi-occupied building. Who has responsibility here?
Each occupier will be responsible for their areas of workplace. For common areas (escape routes and staircases) you will need to work together, where necessary with the managing agent and owner of the premises, to ensure the safety of the workplace under the current fire safety legislation.
Q. I have a small business and only employ one or two people. Do I need to be aware of the new fire safety regulations?
Yes - you need to be aware of the RRFSO, as part of which you will need to carry out a FRA and an emergency action plan even where there is just one employee. Where you have five or more employees, the findings must be recorded for future reference.
Q. I'm self-employed. How am I affected by the legislation?
Current fire safety legislation is not aimed at the self-employed, though you may be located in premises that contain employees and your safety will be maintained by the existence of the fire safety measures in place. Where possible, you should adopt fire safety practices such as those contained in current fire safety legislation and other related documents.
Q. How many and what type of fire extinguishers do I need in my premises?
There are various types of portable fire extinguishers for dealing with different types of fire situations. It is important that the right extinguisher is supplied for the risk involved. You should carry out a FRA of your workplace to ascertain the risks. In general terms, you should have one general purpose fire extinguisher (GPFE) for every 200 square metres of floor area at ground level and one GPFE for every 100 square metres above and below the ground floor - and at least one per floor. Specialist extinguishers should then be provided at strategic points for any special risks found.
Q. How much will it cost me to have a FRA undertaken at my premises?
Depending upon the size, occupancy, use and location of your premises my professional charges will vary.
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