Fire risk assessments: how often must they be done?
There are no specific time periods in law for how often fire risk assessments must be carried out or reviewed....
In England and Wales, the law that covers fire safety is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This current law came into force on 1 October 2006 and replaced most of the fire safety law that went before it.
The law says that the person responsible for fire safety in a building must take ‘reasonable’ steps to:
- reduce the risk from fire
- make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire
The Order gives fire and rescue authorities (FRAs) the power to:
- inspect buildings
- make the person responsible for fire safety in your building carry out a fire risk assessment or safety improvements (through an enforcement notice)
- make the person responsible for fire safety tell the FRA about any changes to the building that may raise the risk of fire (through an alterations notice)
- force buildings (or parts of buildings) to close (through a prohibition notice)
Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) also gives local councils the power to asses and enforce fire safety matters. The 2004 act also introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The HHSRS is the main tool for assessing fire safety risk and regulating standards in all types of residential accommodation.
The 2004 Act covers the whole building whereas the 2005 Order covers the common parts only. The 2004 Act gives the local council the power to serve a range of notices including an improvement notice which requires the building owner to fix issues that risk residents’ health and safety.
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?
- Who pays for a fire risk assessment?
- Who enforces fire safety law?
- What are the leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act 2022?
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Fire safety
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