Fire Risk Assessments FAQs

We received a number of frequently asked questions about our Fire Risk Assessments service, here are the answers to the most popular ones. If you have queries not covered in this section please feel free to contact us on 0330 6600264 or email [email protected]

Why are fire risk assessments now required?
The law regarding Fire Safety in the United Kingdom changed on 1st October 2006, when the Regulatory Reform (Fire & Safety) Order, came into force. All fire legislation, including the Fire Precautions Act 1971, Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997/99, Management of Health & Safety in the Workplace Regulations 1999 and other related legislation, was replaced with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. Employers became solely responsible for fire safety within their workplaces
Why are flats and apartments required to have a fire risk assessment?
The communal areas of flats and apartments is considered to be a workplace for contractors, people like cleaners, the meter readers, those who collect the bins etc. So this is why only the communal areas of your flats is considered, and not the individual flats themselves. 
Who is responsible for implementing the initial Fire Risk Assessment process?
In simple terms, “the responsible person” who may be the employer, owner or manager in a workplace, or any other person who may have control of any or all of the premises. This may also include the Managing agents or the “Right to Manage” company. So generally speaking it’s those persons in control or part control of the premises will be responsible.
Who is responsible if there are a number of organisations or owners within the same building?
Each organisation must comply and produce its own fire risk assessment, but you must take into account your neighbours, and what they do, as you may need to share some of the same facilities i.e. fire alarms, means of escape etc. And some of their processes may be hazardous, or they may have large numbers of staff that may fully utilise an escape route. It is most important that you and your neighbours produce individual plans that slot into an over-arching plan, and it would generally be the Landlord or owner of the building to act as a co-ordinator in its compilation.
Who has the right to view a fire risk assessment report?
In theory, only the person who paid for it (the responsible person) as the contract with the fire risk assessor was with them. But as the assessment forms part of a legal process, and a requirement of that is to “inform, instruct and train” (if required) all those involved.
Who can carry out the practical Fire Risk Assessment and inspection?
Technically anyone can carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, meaning that the “responsible person” should delegated to another employee or a “competent person”. It must be someone with enough training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to be able to implement these measures properly. It may be required to outsource this task to a “competent person” who is a professional assessor, who has the skills, knowledge and understanding, as well as being insured.
How long does Fire Risk Assessment report last?
There is no determinable date or length of time for any written fire risk assessment report, it all depends on how much risk there is, the more risk the more it should be updated and reviewed. As a guide, it should at least be professionally reviewed between 12-36 months. It must also be seen as a “living document” and therefore should be kept constantly under review.
What does a Fire Risk Assessment involve?
An assessor makes an inspection of the premises to discover the risks, usually with the help of someone from the premises involved, all areas are covered as far as is reasonably practical, pertinent hazards and features are recorded, evaluated and then prioritised for action in a chronological concise report.
What if a fire risk assessment inspection and report is not undertaken, who is responsible, and what are the implications?
  1. In the event of a minor fire, some insurance companies may refuse to pay out on insurance claims.
  2. The enforcing authority, usually the local fire authority, may decide to issue a formal notice indicating what is required to conform and must be completed within a prescribed timescale.
  3. They can in serious circumstances put in place a prohibition notice which may restrict who can live or work at the premises.
  4. In the event of a tragedy or very severe infringement, this may not only include the initial “responsible person(s)” but may also include advisors, equipment providers or any other person(s) who may have some control over the building or its fire risk.
What key points should the Fire Risk Assessment cover?

There are five main parts to a comprehensive assessment

  • Identify the fire hazards
  • Identify people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk
  • Record, plan, inform, instruct and train (if required)
  • Review regularly