As the responsible person in your business, 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 has 5 or more people.
Carrying out the 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, it can be downloaded here.
You’ll need to consider:
- emergency routes and exits
- fire detection and warning systems
- firefighting 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 or If you don’t have the expertise or time to do the fire risk assessment we can arrange for an independent professional risk assessor to visit your premises and prepare a detailed report.
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 Evacuation Plans
Your plan must show how you have:
- a clear passageway to all escape routes
- 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, you my ned to provide disabled refuge points dependent upon the size, design and layout of your building – see our Fire Alarms page for more detail.
Fire safety equipment, drills and training
Fire detection and warning systems
You must have a fire detection and warning system. You may need different types of detectors, depending on the type of building and the work carried out in it – a thorough FRA can help identify what is required.
The types of equipment you need depend on your business premises. You’ll need to have any equipment properly installed, tested and maintained and train your staff to use them if necessary. MMV Contracting can supply a full range of equipment and services, or provide maintenance of any of your existing systems currently installed.
Maintenance and testing
You must ensure you have the correct maintenance contracts in place and carry out regular checks to make sure that:
- all fire alarm systems are working
- the emergency lighting is working
- you record any faults in systems and equipment
- all escape routes are clear and the floor is in good condition
- all fire escapes can be opened easily
- automatic fire doors close correctly
- fire exit signs are in the right place
Again, a full Fire Risk Assessment arranged for you by MMV Contracting Limited can highlight any systems and practices shortcomings and help keep you compliant and reduce your risk of exposure to legal or civil actions against you.
Fire drills and training
You need to train new staff when they start work and tell all employees about any new fire risks.
You should carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results. You must keep the results as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.