Fire safety law in work and public places
Fire risk assessments
As the responsible person you 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 people safe.
You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business or workplace has more than 5 staff - this may also be a condition of a licence held for the premises.
How to do an assessment
- Identify the fire hazards.
- Identify people at risk.
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
- Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.
The fire safety risk assessment chart gives more detailed information about these steps.
You’ll need to consider:
- emergency routes and exits
- fire detection and warning systems
- fire fighting equipment
- the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
- an emergency fire evacuation plan
- the needs of vulnerable people, for example the elderly, young children or those with disabilities
- providing information to employees and other people on the premises
- staff fire safety training
Help with the assessment
You can do the fire risk assessment yourself with the help of standard fire safety risk assessment guides.
If you don’t have the expertise or time to do the fire risk assessment yourself you can ask a specialist for help, for example a professional risk assessor. The National Fire Chiefs Council has produced guidance on choosing a competent fire risk assessor.
Your local fire and rescue authority might be able to give you advice if you’re not sure your risk assessment’s been carried out properly. However, they can’t carry out risk assessments for you.
You can download the following guides on risk assessments in:
- offices and shops
- factories and warehouses
- sleeping accommodation
- residential care premises
- educational premises
- small and medium places of assembly (holding 300 people or less)
- large places of assembly (holding more than 300 people)
- theatres, cinemas and similar premises
- open air events and venues
- healthcare premises
- animal premises and stables
- transport premises and facilities
You can also find guidance on:
- how fire safety law applies if anyone pays to stay in your property other than to live there as a permanent home
- how to make sure your premises are safe from fire
- risk assessments if you work in construction
- purpose-built blocks of flats and other types of housing if you’re a landlord
- fire safety in specialised housing