Having a fire risk assessment in London is a requirement under the law for non-domestic and commercial premises. When you have an assessment done it helps to keep your employees, customers, and your business safe in the event a fire should happen. The number of fires that have broken out at London businesses over the last decade has reduced significantly. Even so, the cost of those fires that have happened has tripled.
Are All London Employers Required To Maintain Written Records Of Their Fire Risk Assessments?
If a company has at least five employees then they are required by law to maintain written records of each fire risk assessment in London they have performed. Even though businesses with fewer than five employees are not required under the law to do this, it is considered to be the best practice. It is required for businesses with 5 or more employees that you do an annual assessment and it is recommended by the government that all do so. You should also do one anytime there are any major changes done to your building.
Can A London Employer Do The Fire Risk Assessment Themselves?
The law does allow for a responsible business person to perform and review fire risk assessments. There is an industry-specific guide that is available for you to follow. It is recommended that you do it yourself only if you are confident that you can do it competently. If not, then you should get an experienced fire risk assessor to perform the assessment for you.
If you fail to do the fire risk assessment all together you can be held liable. If you try doing it yourself and you do it incompetently, then you could find yourself liable should something happen. If you can’t do it yourself and you fail to get a competent assessor to do it, then this too could cause you to be liable should something happen.
Steps To Performing A Fire Risk Assessment in London
1. Determine If You Have Any Existing Fire Hazards
Inspect your property to determine if there’s anywhere a fire could start. If there are places that have any type of fuel then that would be where you would want to start. This means if you have anything that has open flames, heaters, and even lighting under the right circumstances might cause a fire. If there is paint, rubbish, or paper that are near these fire hazards then the chances are greatly increased.
2. Determine Who Might Be At Risk
Which employees are positioned in the building in a way that might cause them to be at greatest risk should a fire take place? You would also want to consider if you have any older or disabled employees that might not be able to move as quickly should an event happen. If some of your employees are exposed to greater risks or they have some reason that they wouldn’t be able to get out of the building as easily should a fire break out, then these are risks that should be examined and improved upon.
3. Reduce Or Remove The Risk
Once you have thoroughly inspected the property and determined where if any fire hazards exist then you want to start considering how to reduce or remove the risks. You will need to develop specific processes for every hazard you have noted so that those risks can be or removed or at least improved in a way that decreases the risk. Improvements should be implemented immediately.
4. Document Any Findings And Maintain Those Records
Each time that you do an assessment you want to document every detail. Once you have documented those records, you will need to keep them on file for reference should anything happen. This will demonstrate proof that the assessments have been done periodically and findings were swiftly dealt with appropriately.
5. Establish An Emergency Plan And Train All Employees
To avoid any tragedy should a fire happen you will need to have an emergency plan established. When you develop that plan then all employees will need to be trained to follow the plan. If they are not trained then when an emergency happens they will not know what to do.
6. Update The Fire Risk Assessment Each Year
The law requires that this assessment is done annually. As well as performing the assessment you will also want to update your emergency plan as necessary. Any time changes are made then you will need to retrain employees so that they know what to do should an emergency happen.