GENERAL

Who Is In Charge Of Completing A Fire Risk Assessment?

In a world where fire incidents pose a significant threat to life and property, fire risk assessments have become a crucial aspect of fire safety management. Fire risk assessments play a pivotal role in identifying potential hazards, evaluating the risk of fire, and recommending appropriate mitigation measures. But who should be held responsible for completing a fire risk assessment? In this article, we will delve into the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, from building owners to occupants, in ensuring the completion of a thorough and effective fire risk assessment.

Building Owners And Employers

As the primary stakeholders in maintaining a safe environment, building owners and employers hold significant responsibility for completing a fire risk assessment. In many jurisdictions, they are legally obligated to conduct regular fire risk assessments on their premises. They must ensure that the assessment is carried out by a competent person with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience. This can be an employee with adequate training, a professional fire risk assessor, or a qualified fire engineer. Building owners and employers must also take prompt and appropriate action to address the identified risks and implement the recommended control measures.

Responsible Persons

In some cases, legislation may designate a ‘responsible person’ for fire safety within a building. This individual is accountable for the completion of the fire risk assessment, as well as the implementation of the necessary fire precautions. The responsible person can be the owner, occupier, or manager of the premises, and must have sufficient authority and resources to effectively carry out their duties. In multi-occupied buildings, there may be multiple responsible persons, each accountable for specific areas or aspects of fire safety. These responsible persons must cooperate and coordinate with one another to ensure a comprehensive fire risk assessment is carried out.

Facility Managers

Facility managers, who oversee the maintenance and operation of a building, are often involved in fire risk assessment processes. They may be responsible for coordinating the assessment and ensuring that it is completed in a timely and thorough manner. Facility managers should work closely with the responsible person, providing them with the necessary information and support to complete the assessment. Additionally, facility managers play a crucial role in ensuring that the findings of the assessment are communicated to relevant staff, occupants, and contractors and that the recommended control measures are implemented.

Occupants And Employees

Although the primary responsibility for completing a fire risk assessment lies with the building owner or employer, occupants and employees also have a role to play in ensuring a safe environment. They should be familiar with the building’s fire safety measures, participate in fire drills, and promptly report any fire hazards they encounter. In some cases, employees may be designated as fire wardens or marshals, who are responsible for assisting the responsible person in maintaining fire safety within the building.

External Consultants And Fire Safety Professionals

In situations where the responsible person or facility manager lacks the necessary skills, knowledge, or experience to complete the fire risk assessment, external consultants or fire safety professionals may be employed. These professionals can offer insightful advice, helping to ensure that the assessment is thorough and effective. They may also be involved in training employees, developing fire safety policies, and implementing control measures. When engaging external consultants, it is crucial to verify their qualifications, experience, and professional indemnity insurance.

Conclusion

Completing a fire risk assessment is a collective responsibility that involves various stakeholders, from building owners and employers to occupants and fire safety professionals. All parties must understand their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the completion of a comprehensive fire risk assessment, ultimately contributing to a safer environment. By working together, these stakeholders can effectively minimize the risk of fire and protect lives and property.