What is a fire risk assessment?
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A fire risk assessment is a check of a building for fire risks. All blocks of flats and large houses in multiple occupation in England and Wales must have one.
The assessment has recommendations about how to protect the building and the people in or near it from fire. It is, effectively, a guide book for fire safety plans in your building.
The assessment looks at:
- how likely a fire is to start
- what the consequences would be if a fire did start
- what needs to be done in the building to minimise the risk of fire starting or spreading
The law says the assessment must be ‘suitable and sufficient’ for the building.
What does a fire risk assessment cover?
A fire risk assessment covers the shared parts of a building that all people can use, such as common stairwells and entrance halls.
The assessment looks at a building’s ‘general fire precautions’ in the shared areas. These include measures to:
- reduce the risk of fire starting, such as ‘no smoking’ signs or doing regular safety checks of electrical sockets or lights
- reduce the risk of fire spreading, such as fire doors
- alert people about a fire in the building, such as smoke alarms
- let people escape from the building, such as clear escape routes
- tell people what to do if a fire starts, such as an emergency plan
- reduce the harm caused if a fire starts, such as fire extinguishers or sprinklers
The general fire precautions must protect:
- people who are allowed to be in the building
- people who are near the building, who may be at risk if a fire started
More information you might find useful:
- Who is responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment?
- Fire risk assessments: how often must they be done?
- My building has no fire risk assessment. What do I do?
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Fire safety
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