What’s a fire risk assessment and why is it needed?
A fire is started from the combination of three separate elements: fuel, oxygen and an ignition source that will enable the chemical reaction of fuel and oxygen to ignite. A fire cannot get started if one of these key elements is missing, therefore, it’s important to take various steps in order to prevent these three elements combining in a deadly manner.
What’s the importance of a fire risk assessment?
Simply, you must remember that fire is one of the most dangerous killers known to man. It claims the lives of many worldwide each year, and not only does it come at a humanitarian cost, it also has devastating effects financially to home and business owners everywhere. The financial costs can both be related to structural and material damages incurred from the fire, which in turn can lead to loss of the physical business as well as ensuring legal costs. It’s estimated that the cost of fire damages throughout England and Wales had been estimated to cost as much as £7 billion!
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RR(FS)O) was brought into force throughout England and Wales on 1st October 2006. Part 1 of the RR(FS)O identifies the general duties, including the “responsible person”, “general fire practices” and premises which it is applicable to. Part 2, articles 8 – 22, are all responsible in covering the ongoing requirements, including specifically in article 9 the need to carry out a risk assessment.
What exactly is a fire risk assessment?
A fire risk assessment, simply put, is the process of determining the chance of a fire happening within the workplace, looking at various factors that can potentially be responsible for causing fires. It’s currently accomplished by viewing various factors in both the workplace and work activities that can cause harm. From this assessment, various precautions can then be determined that can be put into action so a reduced risk of fire can be brought into the workplace.