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....
Your local fire and rescue authority (FRA) and your local council Private Sector Housing Team are both responsible for enforcing fire safety in your area.
If you are not sure who your fire and rescue authority is you local fire service will be able to give you their information. The fire service may also have information about the FRA on its website. You can also search for your local fire and rescue service on the Chief Fire Officers Association website.
The FRA gets its power for enforcing fire safety regulations from the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The Order gives 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)
The local council gets its powers for assessing and enforcing fire safety matters from Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) which introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
Twenty-nine categories of potential hazard are considered of which hazard 24 is fire.
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 owner to fix issues that risk residents’ health and safety.
It is an offence not to comply and councils have powers to do the work themselves if it is continually ignored. Councils can also impose fines of up to £30,000.
The Crown Premises Fire Safety Inspectorate (CPFSI) is responsible for enforcing the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in government buildings, Parliament and other Crown premises, excluding Ministry of Defence buildings who have their own Inspectorate. In respect of buildings owned by the Crown Estates Commissioners including those containing flats, the Inspectorate is responsible for enforcing the 2005 Order.
The CPFSI role is to:
- undertake risk-based inspections
- provide advice and guidance on fire safety
- investigate fire safety failures following fires and injuries
- respond to consultations on proposed building work
- share information with stakeholder to promote consistency and reduce risk
- take enforcement action in accordance with the Regulators’ Code and follow the principles of good enforcement set out in the
More information you might find useful:
- Which law covers fire safety?
- 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?
- What are the leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act 2022?
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Fire safety
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