What is fire risk assessment: How it is done

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What is fire risk assessment

Fire risk assessment is an in-depth review/evaluation of a building, complex or a facility for fire risks and provide recommendations to either eliminate the risk or control it.

Fire risk assessment is the cornerstone of fire safety plan; without a good fire risk assessment, the fire safety plan will just be based on assumptions.

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There is a law which governs carrying out this risk assessment. The law stipulates that any building, structure or facility which can accommodate five (5) persons or more at a time should have a fire risk assessment drawn out, written down, communicated to the occupants of the building and documented. It also states that the risk assessment should be done by a Responsible Person (RP). The responsible person may be a fire assessment professional, the facility owner or an assigned worker. The RP must be knowledgeable in carrying out this risk assessment.

Legal guidelines surrounding Fire Risk Assessment

  1. It must be reviewed regularly, at least after every 12 months. If there has been alteration in the building structure or there has been introduction of new hazardous materials, the risk assessment must be reviewed.
  2. The risk assessment must be written down if you have more than five (5) employees, if the premises need a license or if the fire brigade gives the instruction.
  3. All findings and actions taken must be recorded.

 

Steps of the Fire Risk Assessment

  • Identifying fire hazards and possible sources of ignition.
  • Evaluate the risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more needs to be done.
  • Determine additional control where necessary.
  • Communicate and document the result of the risk assessment.
  • Review where necessary.

Things to consider when carrying out this risk assessment may include:

  • Emergency exit routes, emergency lighting, fire doors, etc.
  • Fire detection and warning systems like the smoke detector, fire alarm, etc.
  • Fire fighting equipment like the fire extinguishers, hose reels, etc.
  • Storage of dangerous substances which could serve as fuel for fire.
  • Emergency fire evacuation plan
  • Identification of the muster point
  • Consider vulnerable people, like the elderly, children, pregnant women and those with disabilities.
  • Information dissemination about the premises and the emergency evacuation plan.
  • Collaboration with external emergency services like the fire service, road safety, police, etc.
  • Staff training and assigning of responsibilities.

 

Here are some fire safety legislation:

 

Fire risk assessment checklist

 

Further reading

Risk Assessment

6 Methods of risk assessment you should know

Working at height risk assessment

Demolition meaning – Demolition risk assessment and Safety precautions

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