The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), requires all non domestic buildings to have a Fire Risk Assessment. It is important to note that it does not matter if the premises is being used for commercial or non-profit.
Does it need to be in a document format?
Basically if you employ 5 of more persons anywhere in the UK, each premises must have its own Fire Risk Assessment completed.
Who can complete this risk assessment?
With any fire related activity, whoever completes the risk assessment must be competent. The RRO clearly states that someone is classed as competent if they have sufficient training skills and knowledge to carry out the task at hand. The larger or more difficult the building the – level / training / experience of the risk assessor also increases.
Who needs to ensure a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is in place?
The ‘The Responsible Person’ must ensure an FRA is in place usually a Director/Manager/ Owner in charge of that company is responsible for ensuring a competent risk assessment is in place, if no FRA is in place the responsible person can receive a substantial fine or, in the worst case scenario, serve jail time.
Potential consequences of ignoring the mandatory fire risk assessment
As previously mentioned, the implementation of the FRA is a necessary method of ensuring that the lives and health of all the personnel working in the building is kept safe from harm. Furthermore, the FRA also assists in mitigating the damage to the structure and the equipment on the premises. The general statistics say that only 7% of small to medium businesses will still be in business 2 years after a serious fire, a Fire Risk Assessment could seriously reduce the risk of a fire in the building.
What does the FRA provide?
To simplify this, the FRA is similar in some context to an MOT on a car, you have your car inspected by a trained professional and if safe and up to the current regulations you receive an MOT certificate. For an FRA, a competent trained individual will inspect your building, your working practices, your customer and staff activities and communications, at the end of which you will receive a detailed report on what you need to do to ensure you comply with The Regulatory (Fire Safety) Regulations 2005 (RRO).