Regardless of your type of business; building owner, employer, or manager, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of all the people who are around you.
Not only is a written fire risk assessment a legal requirement but it is also a security blanket of sorts for your business or premises.
Failure to have this assessment can result in hefty penalties and even imprisonment. Needless to say, the outbreak of fire causes serious consequences.
And although accidents cannot be avoided altogether, identifying potential hazards will allow you to eliminate the risk of a fire outbreak.
What Is A Fire Risk Assessment?
This is a process that identifies where and how a fire may start on-premises. It also includes sources of ignition and those who are at risk. Most importantly, it includes the steps taken to reduce the risk of fire.
Fire risk assessments should be conducted before work is complete on a new, current, or existing site and/or material.
Even if your business only has a few employees, you still need to consider control measures. First, determine how much a fire risk assessment will cost and then begin the process.
Importance of Fire Risk Assessments
Due to the fact that fire risk assessments are comprehensive, they give business or premise owners the opportunity to identify hazards and find ways to prevent a fire outbreak.
This is the importance of fire risk assessments:
- Identifying potential and existing hazards
Electrical faults, overheating machinery, radiated heat, and sparks from equipment are all potential and existing fire hazards.
Through fire risk assessments, you will be able to point out these impending issues and work towards providing a safer environment.
- Identifying those who are at high risk
This is another benefit of fire risk assessments. It identifies those who are at high risk when a fire occurs and designs the best ways to evacuate them out of the premises.
This could be through easily accessible exits.
- Evaluating the risks and coming up with control measures
The aim of carrying out fire risk assessments is to identify the risks and determine the measures that will be used to identify the safety of everyone on the premises.
- Recording the findings and implementing them
You have the legal duty to record the findings of all the fire risk assessments that take place on your premises.
Thereafter, you will share the results of your findings with your employees so that they can be educated and prepared on the risks as well as the control measures.
The Bottom Line
Remember, the risk assessment must also consider those nearby and who may be affected in case of a fire outbreak. It could be the nearby hospital or the diner next door.
According to legal guidelines, fire risk assessments are conducted by competent individuals referred to as fire risk assessors.
They have the capability to ensure that your property is well-investigated and is not prone to fire attacks.
If you do not conduct annual fire risk assessments, you will not have the proper fire safety precautions in place. This will cause more harm than good to your business.
To avoid this, it is best to adhere to all safety precautions that have been put in place, the first one being fire risk assessments!