There are important fire safety related activities within a business that must be carried out to comply with the Regulatory reform (Fire safety) Order 2005. An assessment of the suitability of the current fire safety provisions (fire risk assessment) in a business or organisation has therefore to be carried out to determine compliance and identify the necessary corrective actions.

This guide will give you a brief outline of the responsibilities with regards to these fire risk assessments; if you would like to learn more about the legislation go to

A responsible person will need appointing within the business to ensure that the fire risk assessment is carried out and the corrective actions are identified and completed. Anybody competent can be appointed to this role, however, usually it is the owner or highest manager that will ultimately be responsible. If you are the responsible person, you must have the fire risk assessment of the premises carried out and will have to review its findings on a regular basis. The carrying out of the assessment may also be contracted out to a suitably trained Fire Risk Assessor.

The fire risk assessment will identify areas of concern and lay out what you need to improve to prevent a fire and keep people safe.

Carrying out the assessment

  • Identify potential fire hazards
  • Identify the people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove or put actions in place to reduce the risk
  • Record what you have found. Draw up an emergency plan and provide adequate training to staff to enable them to carry the plan out
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly

What you will need to consider in your assessment

  • The emergency exits and the routes to them
  • The evacuation plan
  • Vulnerable people, for example elderly, children and those with disabilities
  • Fire safety training for staff and the cover of rotas
  • The systems in place to detect a fire and if they give adequate warning throughout the building
  • The fire fighting equipment installed and if it is suitable for the location
  • Safe storage or removal of any dangerous or combustible materials or substances

If you are carrying out the fire risk assessment yourself, you may find the guides helpful.