“employers are to take employees capabilities into consideration prior to delegating
For the Avoidance of Doubt: in relation to 5 or fewer occupants,,,,,
Fire safety legislation for existing buildings (which applies to virtually all non-domestic
premises) requires that the fire precautions in the premises be based on a fire risk
assessment which, therefore, must be carried out.
This applies even to a small shop occupied by a single self-employed person. The
requirement also applies to the common parts of blocks of flats in England and Wales
(but not Scotland and NI).
Confusion sometimes arises because the findings of the Fire Risk Assessment need
not be recorded if the employer (or other duty holder) does not employ 5 or more
persons. Never the less, the Fire Risk Assessment must be carried out.
The findings must also be recorded in the case of premises for which legislation
requires licensing or registration.
A Fire & Rescue Authority may also require this in an alterations notice, though
such notices are not that common. It might be regarded as best practice, regardless
of any legal obligation to do so.
At the most basic level, a Fire Risk Assessment is a review taken of a building looking
at the Building, the occupants and the processes carried out within, so as to assess
it for fire risk, and to provide recommendations to make it safer if need be.
The responsible person “RP” you must carry out and regularly review of the fire risk
assessment of the premises. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire
and keep people safe.
When the knowledge, experience and expertise is not available in house, to carry
out the fire risk assessment you need to appoint a ‘competent person’ to carry out
In order to prove “competency”, as well as having other Fire Industry Qualifications
and Experience, any CWE Consultant carrying out Fire Risk Assessments, have also
undertake courses approved by the Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) in Fire Risk
If you are the Responsible Person for your property, you are required to have a “Suitable
and Sufficient” fire risk assessment in place for your premises:
A responsible person can be someone who is:
Responsible for a business premises
An employer or self-employed with business premises
Responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business
The responsible person for the communal areas of blocks of flats or offices.
A contractor with a degree of control over any premises
A manager or person responsible for an HMO
Providing accommodation for paying guests
A charity or voluntary organisation
Examples of such premises (vacant or occupied) that require a Fire Risk Assessment
by law are, but not limited to:
Offices , Shops, Commercial Premises and any Places of Employment
Premises providing care, including care homes, clinical practices and hospitals
Community & Church Halls, Places of Worship and other Community Premises
Shared areas of properties in which several households live in (common parts)
Factories, Laboratories, Industrial Units & Warehouses
Hotels, Guest Houses, Hostels, Tents and Marquees
Individual properties considered to be HMO
Sports Centres & Recreational Premises
Pubs, Clubs, & Restaurants
Schools & Colleges
Open Air Events
Fi re ri sk as se ss m en t s wi nd on , s wi nd on fi re ri sk as se ss m en t
The Fire Risk Assessment is just the starting point of Fire Safety Management at
If you are the responsible person you must make sure that fire risks are removed,
reduced or managed to an acceptable level to reasonably protect lives.
You must also ensure that everyone who may be in, or in the vicinity of, your premises
can escape if there is a fire.
After your Fire Risk Assessment is completed and produced, the overall task of Fire
Safety is not finished.
Your Fire Risk Assessment is a living document designed to evolve with your staff,
your premises and the process within as well as any issues with the surrounding environment.
The assessment should be reviewed regularly, and any arising issues dealt with in
order to maintain a compliant and safe environment.
From 1st October 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the
Responsible Person (RP) of any non-domestic premises to have a fire risk assessment
carried out on any property that they have control over.
For all non-domestic buildings, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, came
into force in October 2006, placing the legal responsibility on businesses to carry
out a Fire Safety Risk Assessment.
Under the RRO the “responsible person” for the
premises, by law must ensure that a “suitable and sufficient” fire risk assessment
for each premises that is under his or her control, has been carried out by a “competent
Fire Risk Assessments and full written reports within the requirements of the Regulatory
Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.