Guide

Fire safety and risk assessment

Fire safety: record, review and revise

If you employ more than five people, you must keep a written record of the significant findings of your fire risk assessment. You should keep the following:

  • a record of the hazards you have identified, the people at risk, and any action you have taken
  • an emergency plan designed for your premises, including the action you need to take if there is a fire on your commercial property or nearby
  • records of fire-fighting arrangements in place to control the fire risk

Even if you have fewer than five employees, it is good practice to make a written record of your risk assessment.

Maintenance records for fire training

These include details of fire training and instruction provided and details of fire drills carried out, including the date, evacuation time and any problems encountered. You should give staff and visitors to your business premises instructions on what to do in the event of fire.

Maintenance and testing of fire equipment

All equipment, eg fire doors or fire-fighting equipment, must be regularly checked and maintained. This includes checking that:

  • the control panel shows that all electrical fire detection and alarm systems are working - if not, that all faults are recorded and dealt with immediately
  • all emergency lighting is working - if not, that all faults are recorded and dealt with immediately
  • all escape routes and fire exits are clear of obstacles and the floor is in good repair
  • all fire escapes can be opened without any delays
  • all automatic fire doors close correctly when activated
  • all fire exit signs are in the correct position

Review your fire risk assessment

You must make sure that your fire risk assessment is reviewed regularly, is up to date and takes into account any changes to your commercial property or business that may affect fire safety. You should, for example, look again at your fire risk assessment if:

  • there was a fire which was caught in time
  • you are storing more flammable materials
  • you start a new night shift
  • you have more people using your premises
  • you make a significant change to your premises, eg adding an extension or subdividing offices

Revise your fire risk assessment

If your review shows that there have been significant changes that might affect the fire risk in your building, you may need to do another fire risk assessment. If you are in any doubt at all, it is best to conduct the fire risk assessment, even if it turns out that your risk management measures are adequate and there is no need for any further action.