What is a fire risk assessment and why does my business need one?

Your building’s fire risk assessment, whether it’s your business premises or a block of flats, is the most important component of its fire strategy. However, having said that, not too many people seem to know what a fire risk assessment is. If overlooked, your overall fire strategy may not be able to accommodate for certain areas of the building which are particularly at risk, something that could have grave consequences if a fire was to break out.

In light of this, this month, Cheshire Fire will be providing a breakdown of exactly what a fire risk assessment is and why they are so important.

What is a fire risk assessment?

As previously stated, a fire risk assessment is essential to every business premises or block of flats, a document that will ultimately save lives. But what exactly is it? A fire risk assessment is essentially designed to identify and highlight potential risks and hazards associated with a particular building.

That said, a fire risk assessment doesn’t just look at the structure of the building itself, it looks at the contents, the layout, and takes into account the processes and operations for which the building is actually used. For example, if the building is a restaurant, then all of the dangerous cooking oils and equipment will become a focal part of the assessment. Similarly, in a large shopping centre, the risk assessment will have to take into account the vast numbers of occupants the building accommodates on a daily basis, whilst also considering the ways in which the layout of the building will affect the occupants’ ability to escape as quickly as possible.

Once the fire risk assessment has identified the various fire risks associated with a particular building, other parts of the assessment must outline how these risks can be reduced or countered. For example, how will the occupants escape? What routes should they take? What steps can be taken to minimise the potential dangers posed by the layout of the building?


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Why are fire risk assessments necessary?

First and foremost, fire risk assessments are required by law, as stipulated in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. However, as stated previously, a fire risk assessment is vital for every building because it could very well save the lives of its occupants. In the case of a fire, already having measures put in place to make the process of evacuation more simple is the best way of minimising casualties.

Cheshire Fire provides businesses of all kinds with high quality fire risk assessments, fire safety training and fire fighting equipment. With our guidance, you can rest assured your premises will meet all fire safety legislation. Our experts will help make your business as hazard-free as possible and ensure you are equipped and qualified to react appropriately in the event of a fire. To improve your workplace’s fire safety in Chester, Warrington or the surrounding areas, get in touch with our team today to discuss how we can help.