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Fire risk assessments

A fire risk assessment identifies what needs to be done in a premises to prevent fires and keep people safe.

Every block of flats, business premises or premises that the public has access to must have one. 

How to do an assessment

  1. Identify the fire hazards.
  2. Identify people at risk.
  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly. The risk assessment chart Fire Safety Risk Assessment (PDF, 41.93 KB, 1 page) gives more detailed information about these steps.
  5. 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 need to appoint a ‘competent person’ to help, for example a professional 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.

Fire safety and evacuation plans

Your plan must show how you have:

  • clearly marked escape routes that are as short and direct as possible
  • enough exits and routes for all people to escape
  • emergency doors that open easily
  • emergency lighting where needed
  • training for all employees to know and use the escape routes
  • a safe meeting point for staff

People with mobility needs

You should also make special arrangements for people with mobility needs, for example make sure there are people to help wheelchair users get downstairs if there’s a fire.