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Overview of the Fire risk assessment

Use this fire risk assessment to structure and record a fire risk assessment. Fire safety law requires employers, managers, occupiers and owners of premises whose main use is an office, shop or other business to carry out and maintain a fire risk assessment. Its purpose is to prevent fires, reduce risk, and to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the premises or is in the immediate vicinity. This document demonstrates compliance with the legal obligation to identify risks and to ensure that appropriate precautions are in place. Fire risk assessment in this form is not required where the business is carried on premises that are mainly domestic, for example, in a home office.

Use this fire risk assessment

  • when you are in charge of a commercial property or the common areas in a residential property and want to carry out a fire risk assessment
  • when you have been nominated as the 'responsible person' for fire safety at the property
  • if the property is in England or Wales

This fire risk assessment covers

  • fire hazards and control measures at the property
  • who is at risk
  • procedures and training
  • fire safety records

A fire risk assessment is a form which demonstrates compliance with the legal obligation to identify risks and to take precautions to prevent fire.

Fire risk assessments are required by fire safety law for any non-domestic premises. The main purpose of a fire risk assessment is to prevent fires, reduce risk, and to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the premises or is in the immediate vicinity.

Fire risk assessments are compulsory for non-domestic premises. Any non-compliance can result in significant fines and possible jail time for repeat offenders. 

The responsible person is the person who must complete the fire risk assessment. Responsible people in commercial properties are employers, owners, landlords, or occupiers of a business, or anyone else who has control over the premises. 

If the responsible person is not confident in their ability to perform the fire risk assessment, they can arrange for a suitably qualified (ie. a fire risk assessor) or experienced person to complete the assessment on their behalf.

Where there is more than one responsible person, all responsible persons have to work together to meet their responsibilities.

The responsible person should follow the following five key steps when performing the fire risk assessment:

  1. Identify the fire hazards

  2. Identify the people at risk

  3. Evaluate, remove, or reduce the risks (to as low as is reasonably practicable)

  4. Record the findings, prepare an emergency plan, and provide training where necessary

  5. Review and update the FRA regularly.  

Fire safety measures and policies can be used to reduce the risk of hazards causing harm. 

If a business consists of more than 5 people, a written record of the fire risk assessment must be kept.

A fire hazard is anything that could ignite a fire, or assist/accelerate the spread of a fire. When assessing the severity of the fire hazard, the responsible person should consider:

  1. the possibility of a fire occurring; and 

  2. the magnitude of consequence of that fire. 

Risks can be reduced by various methods including good housekeeping, specially designed machinery, and storage of equipment away from the risk. 

A fire risk assessment must be reviewed from ‘time to time’ or if there is a reason to suspect that it is no longer valid. A fire risk assessment may no longer be valid if there are sufficient changes to the layout of the building or the number of people who use the space. 

Ask a lawyer for:

  • advice if you have received an enforcement notice from the fire and rescue authority

This Fire risk assessment is governed by the law of England and Wales.

Other names for Fire risk assessment

Fire hazard assessment.