Full on Site Fire Risk Assessment

A Fire Risk Assessment is an assessment of the Fire Risks to occupants of a building and other people in the vicinity of a building and to ensure that those people are safe from the risk of fire and its effects.

In England and Wales (under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005) a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment is a legal requirement. The legislation represents a shift from concentrating on Fire Protection to Fire Prevention.

There is neither a definition of ‘suitable and sufficient’ nor a required format for the assessment instead the adequacy is a matter for subjective judgement.

A Fire Risk Assessment is a systematic and structured assessment of fire risk designed to determine the efficiency of existing fire precautions and detail the need for additional fire precautions in the Action Plan. The objective of the Action Plan is to set out measures that will reduce fire risk to a tolerable level.

Under traditional legislation, responsibility for judging the adequacy of fire precautions lay with the Fire Services. Under the FSO, responsibility for the adequacy of the fire precautions and the Fire Risk Assessment lies with the Responsible Person. It’s essential that the Fire Risk Assessment isn’t treated just as a formality and filed away until the fire services request sight of it.

  • Building Complexity, Size/Height & Construction
  • Activites and Processes that take place
  • The nature and number of the occupants (elderly, infirm, young etc) and their familiarity of the building
  • Past history of fires, any incidence of arson etc

It’s important to differentiate between a Fire Risk and a Fire Hazard.

  • A Fire Hazard is the potential of injury or damage from fire
  • A Fire Risk is the product of the probability of occurrence of a fire and the consequence of its occurrence (e.g. financial loss or death/injury)

Fire Risk Assessments should be reviewed ‘periodically’ dependent on the risk factors involved. They should also be reviewed whenever risks change (and also as and when Action Plan items are completed). As a guide most premises should look to review at least every 6 months.


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