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Do I need a Fire Risk Assessment?

Do I Need a Fire Risk Assessment?

What is a Fire Risk Assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a process involving the evaluation of the factors that determine the hazard from fire, the likelihood that there will be a fire and the consequences if one were to occur. There are various types of methods of risk assessment that can be used.  From our experience, a basic qualitative fire risk assessment based on PAS 79 will be deemed suitable and sufficient for most situations.

Do I need one to comply with Law?

There are few exceptions but the simple answer is Yes!

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, a fire risk assessment is necessary in virtually all buildings in England and Wales, other than domestic dwellings. Similar requirements apply in Scotland under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, and in Northern Ireland under the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 .

Is it something I can do?

Yes, If you consider yourself to have obtained the skills and knowledge to be competent.  MG Fire Safety Consultants Ltd are usually requested by the client when they do not have the necessary competence or when they do not have the time or resources to conduct the Fire Risk Assessments themselves.

Our Specialists

Our Fire Risk Assessors are trained to the level of Fire Inspector and Fire Enforcement Officer within the Fire Authority and are Graduates of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

What does the Assessment Cover?

To ensure that you comply with all fire legislation and, importantly, the safety of staff and relevant persons, our Fire Risk Assessors will undertake a survey.  From our experience, a basic qualitative fire risk assessment based on PAS 79 will suffice for most situations.

Our Fire Risk Assessors will:

  • Obtain information on the building, the processes carried out in the building and the people present, or likely to be present, in the building;
  • Identify the fire hazards and the means for their elimination or control;
  • Assess the likelihood of a fire;
  • Determine the fire protection measures in the building;
  • Obtain relevant information about fire safety management;
  • Make assessment of the likely consequences to people in the event of fire;
  • Make an assessment of the fire risk;
  • Formulate and document an action plan;
  • Define the date by which the fire risk assessment shall be reviewed.
  • Provide a verbal debrief on any significant findings before leaving the premises (Where suitable persons are available).

We will produce:

  • An easily understood executive summary, which will be supported by;
  • A comprehensive report;
  • A simple risk level estimator, in order to understand the potential consequence of fire versus likelihood of fire outbreak;
  • A report to Identify the significant findings;
  • A Fire Safety Action Plan;

The production of client plans will also include a free hour consultation (where required) so that the Fire Risk Assessment and Fire Safety Management Plan can be explained in full, in order that the “responsible person” understands their responsibility.

Free Fire Safety Guides

The guides detailed below provide advice about completing a fire safety risk assessment for all employers, managers, occupiers and owners of various premises:  “Click on the Fire Safety Guide for the link”

Fire Safety Guide

Main Use of Premise


Have you got paying guests


 Premises where fire safety law applies to you if anyone pays to stay in your property, other than to live there as a permanent home. For example, if you provide:  guest accommodation in small premises, such as B&Bs, guest houses, farmhouses, inns and restaurants with rooms, self-catering accommodation, such as houses, cottages, chalets, flats and holiday caravans; or hostels or small bunkhouses. This is not a full list and there is no absolute definition of what is a ‘small’ or ‘large’ premises. As a rule, if your premises are significantly larger than a family home, or if they include long, unusual or complicated routes to an exit, you will probably need more detailed advice on the range of fire safety arrangements that you need to consider.

Offices and shops

Offices and retail premises (including individual units within larger premises, e.g. shopping centre’s).

Factories and warehouses

Factories and warehouse storage premises.

Sleeping accommodation

All premises where the main use is to provide sleeping accommodation, e.g. hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, hostels, residential training centre’s, holiday accommodation and the common areas of flats, maisonettes, HMO’s and sheltered housing (other than those providing care – see Residential care premises), but excluding hospitals, residential care premises, places of custody and single private dwellings

Residential care premises

Residential care and nursing homes, common areas of sheltered housing (where care is provided) and similar premises, which are permanently staffed and where the primary use is the provision of care rather than healthcare. (see Healthcare Premises)

Educational premises

Teaching establishments ranging from pre-school through to universities, except the residential parts. (see Sleeping accommodation)

Small and medium places
of assembly

Smaller public houses, clubs, restaurants and cafes, village halls, community centre’s, libraries, marquees, churches and other places of worship or study accommodating up to 300 people.

Large places of assembly

Larger premises where more than 300 people could gather, e.g. shopping centre’s (not the individual shops), large nightclubs and pubs, exhibition and conference centre’s, sports stadia, marquees, museums, libraries, churches, cathedrals and other places of worship or study.

Theatres, cinemas and
similar premises

Theatres, cinemas, concert halls and similar premises used primarily for this purpose.

Open air events and venues

Open air events, e.g. theme parks, zoos, music concerts, sporting events (not stadia – see Large places of assembly), fairgrounds and county fairs.

Healthcare premises

Premises where the primary use is the provision of healthcare (including private), e.g. hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dentists and other similar healthcare premises.

Transport premises
and facilities

Transportation terminals and interchanges, e.g. airports, railway stations (including sub-surface), transport tunnels, ports, bus and coach stations and similar premises but excluding the the means of transport (e.g. trains, buses, planes and ships).

Animal Premises and Stables

This guide is for use at all equine establishments, stables, livery yards and other animal establishments and for all employers, proprietors, managers, occupiers and owners.

Means of Escape for Disabled People (Supplementary Guide)

This is a supplementary guide and should be read alongside other guides in the Fire Safety Risk Assessment series.   It provides additional information on accessibility and means of escape for disabled people.

How often should a Fire Risk Assessment be Reviewed?

Generally, there is no fixed period for reviewing your Fire Risk Assessments (FRA).  However, it is necessary whenever there are any significant changes which could affect the fire risk, including changes to the building, staff, occupancy, activities, legislation etc. Additionally, it has become standard best practice to review the Fire Risk Assessment on an annual basis.

In many cases, if there have been no significant changes, clients are competent to carry out the Review of their own Fire Risk Assessment, even if it was carried out by a third party originally, provided they were involved enough in the original Fire Risk Assessment to understand the content and the outcome of the Action Plan. Often the Review is simply a question of checking that the information recorded is still correct, that all necessary maintenance of the fire protection equipment is being carried out, and that all recommended actions have been completed or are in hand.

If MG Fire Safety Consultants Ltd provided the Fire Risk Assessment (FRA), we will have provided a simple Action Plan and provided a date for review, which would have been based on the number of deficiencies identified within the FRA at the time.  Therefore, the importance to take action by this date and review and record the outcome, is key to the overall Fire Safety Management of the building.

Some clients prefer to have a third party carry out the Review each year, as a second pair of eyes, and this is particularly relevant to larger premises or where there are frequent changes.  Even if clients carry out their own annual Reviews, it is prudent to get a third party to re-visit the Fire Risk Assessment after 5 years, so that changes in legislation and guidance can be taken into account.

 Why not let our consultants take the strain away from you by completing your fire risk assessment on your behalf? Call us now on 07795 432 976 for a free, no obligation quotation.