Following the recent tragedy in London, fire safety has become a real cause for concern, not just for homes but businesses too. Take a look at this helpful fire risk assessment guide to safeguard your premises http://bit.ly/1GOiEQG4
Fire Risk Assessment Overview
From 1st October 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the Responsible Person (RP) of any non domestic premises to carry out a fire risk assessment, including measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire, and identify persons at risk. Where there are 5 or more employees, a record must be kept of significant findings and a definition of a Responsible Person is contained in the above Order.
There are official guidance documents on www.gov.uk which will assist you in conducting a fire risk assessment.
Where the RP does not have control of all parts of the building and it is shared with other persons, they should be informed of significant risks identified. The person who does have control (landlord, owner, or other employer etc.) has a responsibility to make sure the regulations are complied with, in the parts they control. This may require communication and cooperation between parties to ensure coordination of fire safety provisions, fire fighting measures, evacuation procedures etc.
Knowledge and experience required
Each RP must consider his or her own circumstances and capabilities in respect of the risk assessment process. Nobody knows as much about the business/activities as the RP but if the RP is not confident in his or her own ability to complete their fire safety risk assessment then they can arrange for a suitably qualified or experienced person to complete the assessment on their behalf.
Concept of Fire Hazard
When considering fire risk assessment it is useful to understand the definition of fire hazard. A fire hazard has two components balanced against each other, one is the possibility of a fire occurring and the other the magnitude of consequences of that fire. For example a metal fabrication workshop has a high possibility of a fire due to the cutting and welding equipment. But providing the house keeping is good and no combustible substances are present, then a fire is not likely to to spread, so the consequence is low, therefore the risk can be considered to be normal or even low.
In the case of a cellulose paint spray booth an occurrence is highly likely because of the products used and the equipment required for the process. The consequences are also very high because any fire would have a rapid development, consequently it would have to be considered a very high risk.
These risks can be reduced to acceptable levels by various methods including good housekeeping, specially designed electric apparatus, equipment located away from the risk and have compressed gasses used in the processes, piped to the risk from a bulk storage or centrally located position.
When evaluating the measures needed or proposed and deciding what would be acceptable then the principle of ALARP (as low as reasonably possible) should be used and information on this subject can be found on the HSE website.
To assist in these decisions a simple matrix below can be used to estimate the level of fire risk.