Risk Assessment , Policy Document & Emergency Evacuation Plan
Complying with Fire Order 2005, Fire Safety Law 2006, Disability Discrimination and
Disability Equality Duty Acts and Health & Safety Law
To comply with the Law, owners/employers must ensure that their appointed ‘Responsible
Person’ is competent to undertake the provisions laid down in the various acts. The
term ‘competent person’ points towards those that have both expert knowledge and
experience of the subject matter and its required implementation and management.
The key to implementing a successful fire safety strategy is to have the right people
doing the right job at the right time. All persons with some control over the workplace
will, to a larger or lesser extent, have responsibilities for fire safety procedures
can influence the effectiveness of those fire safety precautions and policy in place.
Under the Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order 2005, the designated ‘Responsible
Person’ for the premises has specific duties detailed in Articles 8 – 22 of the Order.
These duties extend to the provision and maintenance of fire precautions, fire
prevention and management procedures.
The overall legal responsibility for ensuring compliance with fire safety and other
related legislation (H&S, DDA, DED etc) lies with the Board of Directors as business
owners / ‘employing authority,’ where they are in ‘control of a workplace’ or the
‘occupier of premises’. Specific responsibilities may fall solely on the Board or
jointly with the owner or the premises or others in shared occupancies.
Fire and safety strategy represent the performance criteria that must be met by the
appointed ‘Responsible Person’. Where appropriate, some tasks and functions can
be delegated to assistants but the results need to be monitored, audited and reviewed
to ensure performance and compliance, and that targets are met.
The main objectives are to:
- risk assess and put in place the fire-risk-safety management structure;
- minimise the risk of a fire breaking out or an incident happening
- ensure appropriate life safety systems and maintenance are in place;
- ensure the safety of staff, contractors, visitors and members of the public in the
event of an incident;
- minimise the risk to Fire Rescue Service personnel attending any incident;
- maintain compliance with all relevant statutory requirements relating to fire safety
and fire precautions, and health & safety.
To be able to achieve these objectives, an appreciative knowledge of fire chemistry,
common causes of fire, fire classification, fire loading and smoke spread will be
very useful. In addition, it is essential to be fully conversant with the required
fire protection and precautions measures necessary for your business to be compliant.
Your fire-risk assessment must take into account the following -
- Means of escape
- Personal Emergency Evacuation Planning (PEEP) for impaired people
- Life safety systems - Fire alarms, detector heads and beacons and fire alarm testing,
maintenance to meet the prescribed frequency
- Emergency lighting and testing, maintenance and prescribed frequency
- Building codes for new-build and refurbishment, fire resisting construction and compartmentation
- Floors, walls, glazing and ceilings
- Inspecting and maintenance of existing fire compartmentation, refuges and escape
- Inspecting and maintenance of existing fire doors, frames, self-closers and fastening
- Mandatory warning, directional and instructional signage
- Quality Management Structure - Significant findings and action management, recording
of checks, maintenance, instruction and training, performance and revision policy.
In conducting a fire-risk assessment the following factors are essential considerations
and must be recorded -
- Sources of ignition - electrical spark/contacts, heat, naked flame, electrical appliances
and equipment etc.
- Ability to identify fire loading - all sources of fuel
- Sources of oxygen - air supply and oxygen and oxidising agents, opening windows,
- People at risk - Staff, customers, contractors, impaired people etc.
- Ability to identify and evaluate risk, and the infrastructure to remove, reduce and
protect from risk.
- It will also be necessary to record performance, emergency plans, information and
instructions, and to train staff and conduct fire/incident evacuation drills.
- All will have to be reviewed periodically or at anytime when changes or structural
alterations are made.
The completed fire-risk assessment will form part of your policy document together
with your emergency action plan/s in the event of fire or an immanent critical event.
(ICE). In addition, control of substances hazardous to health (CoSHH) will need
to be assessed, as indeed will the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction
of chemicals (REACH) and safety data sheets (SDS) need to be monitored and managed
safely to be compliant with the various acts.
It doesn't end there, incident investigating and reporting has an importance all
it’s own and must be undertaken to satisfy, not only health and safety inspectors,
but also your insurance company. Indeed environmental considerations must also be
taken into account especially where the business is situated in a recognised flood
plane. And again where a major man made risk, such as an oil or LPG depot is in close
proximity, business continuity planning becomes strongly advised.
Adapted from -
‘Responsible Person/Fire Marshal Duties’