Fire Risk Assessments

Fire risk assessments for blocks of flats and apartments explained

Legislation to reduce the risk of loss of life puts additional responsibilities on those managing property, and failure to understand what is required, and fulfil the legal requirements could result in substantial fines or custodial sentences.

The Fire Safety Order (FSO) 2005 applies to all communal areas in your block of flats including rooms used by caretakers and concierges, or for storage, and extends to include plant rooms and outbuildings. It does not apply to individual flats. The FSO requires a responsible person to undertake an assessment of the fire risks and maintain a record of this which must be reviewed and kept up to date.

This should be a competent person who has sufficient training, experience and knowledge. Are you qualified to do this? If not you would be expected to engage the services of a competent person who will:

  • Carry out the assessment identifying any dangers
  • Provide advice on how to reduce the risk
  • Provide documentary evidence of the assessment

Do you have a record of when your block was last assessed for fire risks?

A Fire Risk Assessment Service

The courts take this very seriously and people responsible for property have been fined and imprisoned for failing to do this properly and endangering life.

Particular reasons for which convictions may be given are areas such as:

  • Inadequate fire doors
  • No smoke alarm
  • No fire detection systems
  • Accumulation of waste in a boiler room or storage in communal areas
  • No fire extinguishers or fire blankets available
  • No emergency lighting

Whether you decide to do this yourself or appoint an external person to help the first step is to define the objectives and then set out the process to achieve this. We have set out below a simple mapping of how this could be done:

Set the Objectives

  • Identify the fire hazards which have the potential to cause injury.
  • Identify who is at risk e.g. employees, visitors, contractors.
  • Identify what measures are already in place to avoid a fire or reduce it to an acceptable level.
  • Determine what additional precautions need to be taken.
  • Provide recommendations for an ongoing review and monitoring of the preventative and protective measures.

Process to follow

  1. Define the initial scope of the assessment.
  2. Identify the premises which are to be assessed.
  3. Undertake the assessment.
  4. Identify and record the hazards associated with each activity or part of the premises.
  5. Record precautions already in place.
  6. Provide recommendations on additional precautions to reduce risks to an acceptable level.
  7. Agree procedures for the review and monitoring of the fire risk assessment.

The courts take this very seriously and people responsible for property have been fined and imprisoned for failing to do this properly and endangering life.

Particular reasons for which convictions may be given are areas such as:

  • Inadequate fire doors
  • No smoke alarm
  • No fire detection systems
  • Accumulation of waste in a boiler room or storage in communal areas
  • No fire extinguishers or fire blankets available
  • No emergency lighting

The report should be reviewed and approved by the Directors, and all decisions on the next steps minuted. Any actions agreed to improve the risk should be documented and followed up. For more information about this service please call us or send us a message using the email form on the Contact Us page

fire-risk-fact-sheet

*As with all insurance policies, the policy is subject to limits, conditions and exclusions. For full terms and conditions please refer to the policy wording available on request. This document does not purport to be comprehensive or to give legal advice. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, Deacon cannot be held liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies contained within the document. Readers are always recommended to take further professional advice before making any decisions.