Issues to consider in a fire risk assessment

Think about the following when assessing the risk of fire:

  • where are fires most likely to break out?
  • could a fire start due to an electrical fault?
  • could a fire spread from floor to floor?
  • could a fire spread without being detected?
  • can everyone on site get off the premises quickly if there is a fire? Does the evacuation plan take into account elderly people or those with disabilities?
  • are fire prevention and detection systems in good working order? Is there a schedule to maintain them? For example, is there a weekly fire alarm test?
  • can people with disabilities be alerted if there is a fire?
  • is there a plan for notifying the fire service if a fire breaks out? Can the fire service access the site?
  • is fire escape signage, such as emergency escape lighting, clear and easy to understand?
  • are staff trained in what to do if there is a fire? Do staff know where the assembly point is? Does fire safety form part of employee induction and ongoing training
  • are combustible materials removed from the site?
  • are there deterrents in place to prevent arson? For example, are the premises locked at night and monitored by a security team? Is there CCTV in place? Is access to the site controlled?
  • do you have fire extinguishers and fire blankets?
  • if you share the building, have you worked with the other occupants on fire safety?

These questions are not exhaustive. Fire risks will vary from business to business.

When you have captured all the risks, you need to eliminate them or put measures in place to reduce the risks.