How often should Fire risk assessments be reviewed?

Ideally every 12 months - but more regularly if you face Coronavirus disruption

While legislation doesn't set a specific frequency, all non-domestic premises MUST carry out a fire risk assessment regularly by law. we recommend that businesses complete an FRA every year, and in the current climate it's a good idea to carry one out at least twice a year to ensure changes in staffing, layout and operational considerations like social distancing are covered. For businesses employing 5 or more people, it's a legal requirement t o keep a full written record of every assessment.

Fire risk assessment legislation in the Government Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 outlines, your Responsible Person must 'take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire' and make sure people can safely escape if one breaks out.

How often should a fire risk assessment be carried out?

Article 9, (3) of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that your fire risk assessment and resulting plan needs to be kept up-to-date, Our recommendation though is that you review your fire safety audit annually.

‘Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date and particularly if—

(a)there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid; or

(b)there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates including when the premises, special, technical and organisational measures, or organisation of the work undergo significant changes, extensions, or conversions, and where changes to an assessment are required as a result of any such review, the responsible person must make them.’

What is a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment covers a series of checks with a definitive 'audit' designed to help you identify fire hazards, rectify any problems or inadequate equipment, structural risks or procedures and put an effective (documented) fire safety plan in place.

According to Government guidelines, your fire risk assessment should cover:

  • Emergency routes and exits
  • Fire detection and warning systems
  • Fire fighting equipment condition
  • Removal (or safe storage) of dangerous substances
  • Emergency fire evacuation plan 
  • Vulnerable peoples' needs (the elderly, young children or those with disabilities)
  • Information for employees and other people on the premises
  • Fire safety training for staff

Who is responsible for fire risk assessments?

While it's possible to do an assessment yourself, it's highly recommended that you seek advice from a professional fire safety company, who can dedicate the time needed to systematically go through all the areas you need to audit in order to create or improve your fire safety plan.