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The Five Steps

PK Fireshield

The following steps outline the basic principles of Fire Risk Assessment that your business requires for it to comply with “The Fire Regulations.” If you employ five or more persons, you must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment.

For a free consultation and health check on your business, regarding “The Fire Regulations,” click here or call us on 07729 715437

Step 1 - Identify the Fire Hazards

For a fire to start, three things are needed a source of ignition, fuel; and oxygen.

If any of these is missing, a fire cannot start. Taking steps to avoid the three coming together will there fire reduce the chances of a fire occurring.

You can identify the potential ignition sources in your workplace by looking for possible sources of heat which could get hot enough to ignite the material in the workplace.

Anything that burns is fuel for a fire. So you need to look for the things that will burn reasonably easily and are in sufficient quantity to provide fuel for a fire or cause it to spread to another fuel source.

If these are present, and you are uncertain of the danger they might pose, you should seek advice from an expert on what precautions you need to take to reduce the risk to people in the event of a fire.

Step 2 - Identify Location and Persons who are at Significant Risk

If there is a fire, the main priority is to ensure that everyone reaches a place of safety quickly. Putting the fire out is secondary to this because the greatest danger from fire in a workplace is the spread of the fire, heat and smoke through it. If a work place does not have adequate means of detecting and giving warning or means of escape, a fire can trap people or they may be overcome by the heat and smoke before they can evacuate.

As part of your assessment, you need to identify who may be at risk if there is a fire, how they will be warned and how they will escape. To do this you need to identify where you have people working, whether at permanent workstations or occasional ones, and to consider who else might be at risk, such as customers, visiting contractors etc, and where these people are likely to be found.

Step 3 - Evaluate the Risks and Determine if the Existing Arrangements are Adequate, or Need Improvement.

Steps 1 and 2 will have helped you identify what the hazards are and who may be at risk because of them. You now need to evaluate the risk and decide whether you have done enough to reduce this or need to do more.

You need to have an effective means of detecting any outbreak of fire and for warning people in your workplace quickly enough so that they can escape to a safe place before the fire is likely to make escape routes unusable.

In some cases where a fire certificate or license is in force, the existing arrangements may be satisfactory. nb. Having a Fire Certificate is not a guarantee the building is safe, and the requirement for having a valid risk assessment still remains.

Once a fire has been detected and a warning given, everyone in your workplace should be able to evacuate without being placed at undue risk.

In most cases where the means of escape has recently been approved under building regulations legislation, a fire certificate, or a license, the existing arrangements may be satisfactory. If you risk assessment suggests that change may be necessary, you should check what you propose with the fire authority

Step 4 - The Findings

If your employ five or more employees you must record the significant findings of your risk assessment, together with the details of any people you identify as being at particular risk. You will probably find it useful (unless your assessment is very simple) to keep a written record of you fire risk assessment as you go around. This will help you plan the actions you need to take in the light of the findings of you risk assessment.

You need to plan the action that your employees and other people in the workplace should take in the event of a fire. If you employ more than five people then you must have a written emergency plan. This emergency plan should be kept in the workplace, be available to your employees and the employees’ representatives (where appointed) and form the basis of the training and instruction you provide. Any written plan should be available for inspection by the fire authority.

For most workplaces it should be easy to prepare a reasonable and workable emergency plan. In some small workplaces the final result may be some simple instructions covering the above points on a Fire Action Notice. However, in large or complex workplaces, the emergency plan will probably need to be more detailed.

Step 5 - Monitor and Review on a Regular Basis

Sooner or later you may introduce changes in your workplace which have an effect on your fire risks and precautions, e.g. changes to the work processes, furniture, plant, machinery, substances, building or the number of people likely to be present in the workplace. Any of these could lead to new hazards or increased risk. So if there is any significant change, you will need to review your assessment in the light of new hazard or risk.

To arrange a free consultation with us, please contact us on 07734 275 735


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