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Fire Risk Assessments

If you are involved in a local business in any capacity you will find general information here along with more detailed information specific to the business categories below.

What are the risks to your business?

Under current fire safety legislation, you as a responsible person, must carry out, and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep your employees and others who may be affected by your work or business safe.

Carrying out the assessment

A fire risk assessment is an organised and methodical look at your premises, the activities carried on there and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises.

This is split into five steps:

  1. Identify fire hazards
  2. Identify people at risk
  3. Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk
  4. Record, plan, inform, instruct and train
  5. Review

For each type of premises, detailed guidance is below, alternatively we have templates and worked examples of fire risk assessments belows:

Do I need a written fire risk assessment?

Under current fire safety legislation, if you have more than 5 persons working at your premises; are a licensed premises and/or have an alterations notice in force at your premises, you must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment.

Competent Person

If you feel, having read the guidance, that you:

  • Do not have an appropriate knowledge or understanding of fire safety and the risk to people from fire to comply effectively with the legislative requirements
  • Are unable to invest sufficient time and resources to do justice to this important task

You will need to appoint a specialist company to carry out the risk assessment for you. Such a specialist must identify the fire safety measures that need to be in place. You should maintain close involvement in the process.

The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council have produced a document (Guidance Choosing a Competent Fire Risk Assessor) for information on how to select an appropriate person or organisation to carry out the risk assessment on your behalf.

This guide and other helpful documents/links are accessible below:

Fire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk Assessments
Offices and ShopsFactories and warehousesSleeping accommodation
Offices and retail premises (including individual units within larger premises e.g. shopping centres)Factories and warehouse storage premisesAll premises where the main use is to provide sleeping accommodation, e.g. hotels, B&Bs, holiday accommodation
and the common areas of flats, HMOs and sheltered housing but excluding hospitals, residential care premises (see below), places of custody and single private dwellings (see also the Paying Guests Guide)
Fire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk Assessments
Residential Care PremisesEducation premisesSmall and medium places of assembly
Residential care and nursing homes, common areas of sheltered housing
(where care is provided) and similar premises, which are permanently staffed
and where the primary use is the provision of care rather than healthcare (see
Healthcare premises below).
Teaching establishments ranging from pre-school through to universities, except
the residential parts (see sleeping accommodation above)
Smaller public houses, clubs, restaurants and cafés, village halls, community centres, libraries, marquees, churches and other places of worship or study venues which accommodate up to 300 people.
Fire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk Assessments
Large places of assemblyTheatres, cinemas and similar premisesOpen air events and venues
Larger premises where more than 300 people could gather, e.g. shopping centres (not the individual shops), large nightclubs and pubs, exhibition and conference centres, sports stadia, marquees, museums, libraries, churches, cathedrals and other places of worship or studyTheatres, cinemas, concert halls and similar premises used primarily for this purposeOpen air events, e.g. theme parks, zoos, music concerts, sporting events (not stadia – see large places of assembly to the left), fairgrounds and county fairs.
Fire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk Assessments
Healthcare premisesTransport premises and facilitiesMeans of escape for those with disabilities
Premises where the primary use is the provision of healthcare (including private), e.g. hospitals, doctor's surgeries, dentists and other similar healthcare premises.Transportation terminals and interchanges, e.g. airports, railway stations (including sub-surface), transport tunnels, ports, bus and coach stations and similar premises but excluding the means of transport (e.g. trains, buses, planes and ships).This guide is a supplement to be read alongside other guides in this series. It provides additional information on accessibility and means of escape.
Fire Risk AssessmentsFire Risk Assessments
Historic PremisesGuidance for fire safety in small premises
If your premises is of historical importance, further information can be found here.Guidance for small blocks of flats, small paying guest accommodation and small non-domestic premises

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