A crucial component of the “responsible person’s” job is to ensure that a fire risk assessment of your property has been completed. Conducting a thorough risk assessment and acting on the results can assist to decrease hazards, assure legal compliance, and perhaps save lives.
Changes to your premises
You will be permitted to make modifications to your premises in most circumstances, but you must remember that you will be responsible for managing the risk you generate and that you must still follow the planning procedure and Building Regulations. You’ll need to evaluate your fire risk assessment and consider how the modifications will impact the risk in your building, as well as determine whether your risk management procedures are adequate, and if you need to adopt further measures.
Essex County Fire and Rescue will be allowed to issue an ‘alterations notice’ at select higher risk buildings, such as those where the risk to life is higher than average or where especially complicated fire protection procedures are necessary. A responsible person may be required to notify Essex County Fire and Rescue of any modifications they intend to make to the property under an alterations notice.
Creating a fire risk assessment
Initially, a simple single line drawing of the premises should be made, roughly to scale, indicating any important structural elements as well as the usage of certain sections, such as manufacturing, storage, office accommodation, storage and plant, and so on.
A basic noughts and crosses system may be used to represent combustibles (circles) and heat/ignition sources (crosses).
If you have a fire on your property, a copy of the plan will be essential to give to the fire department when they come to aid with firefighting operations. The strategy can then be implemented to:
1. Indicate hazards.
2. Highlight persons at significant risk. It will aid in determining where combustibles and ignition sources meet or are in close proximity, as well as the appropriate action to take.
3. Show the necessary action to be taken. If certain requirements prove to be unaffordable, temporary solutions may be used until they can be fully implemented (providing persons are not put at an unacceptable risk).
4. All that remains is to make a record of the assessment, create an action plan, and provide appropriate staff training.
5. From here, you can continue to monitor the risk assessment and revise it as needed.
Find out how we can help with your fire risk assessment here.