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Fire risk assessment guide

The law relating to fire safety is being strengthened and new responsibilities are being placed upon employers. The key date for these new provisions was the October 1, 2006.

What you will be required to do after that date is:

  • Appoint a competent person – this does not have to be a consultant it can be an employee of the company
  • Complete a fire risk assessment
  • Provide employees with clean and relevant information on the risks, measures taken to prevent fires and the protection the measures will provide
  • Consult with employees concerning improvement of fire precautions
  • Co-operate with neighbouring businesses who may be affected by your fire risk
  • Treat agency workers as employees for the purpose of fire safety
  • Consider the use/storage of dangerous substances and notification of the emergency services in an emergency
  • Provide all staff with appropriate information, instructions and training about fire precautions.

    There are five basic steps to carrying out a fire risk assessment.

    Step 1 - identification of the potential hazards

    Look for the sources of ignition

  • Electrical appliances
  • Heaters
  • Hot work process e.g. welding
  • Hot surfaces
  • Process causing sparks e.g. grinding
  • Electrical supply
  • Smoking materials – matches

    Sources of fuel

  • Petrol or other fuels
  • Paint thinners
  • Cleaning materials
  • Waste oil and other products
  • Waste tyres
  • Gas bottles
  • Combustible solids – furnishings and fittings, paper/files.

    Sources of oxygen

  • Ventilation systems

    Potential spread of fire

  • Ducts / vents – doors

    Fire risk assessment checklist

    So – you have completed your fire risk assessment

    If not then go to our fire risk assessment guide below.

    If you have then here is a checklist to ensure yours has all the necessary ingredients to meet the legislation and keep the local fire authority happy.

  • Have you made someone responsible for the fire risk assessment

  • Have you put in procedures for an emergency – in particular organisational structure, communication, alarm systems, do staff know what to do, forward planning, who will ring the emergency services, is the assembly point clear, are staff aware of the procedures

  • Have you reduced the likelihood of a fire or in the event of it starting it its progress retarded

  • Is there a clear and unobstructed route of escape

  • Is suitable fire fighting equipment available and maintained

  • Have staff been instructed and trained

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