Fire risk assessments

by Mark Rowe

Businesses must update their fire risk assessments following office layout changes or refurbishments, says a company that offers such assessments.

Last week saw a commercial building in the heart of Belfast city centre burn down after a retail fire occurred. Circumstances to the fire are still unknown and it is believed that only a few months prior extensive refurbishment works were done throughout the store. Many companies will not be aware that when buildings receive decoration, refits or layout changes, fire risk assessments need to be updated accordingly.

No matter the size of a company be it a small start-up or an established organisation, it is an important responsibility to adhere to a fire management plan. Throughout the last few years the UK has witnessed fires which have caused devastation to life, businesses and heritage.

A fire risk assessment and fire safety management plan should not only be created but regular maintenance of the plan to reflect changes in a business are important. This includes changes in staffing, office layouts and refurbishment changes. It is against the law if regular fire safety maintenance is not reflected within the fire safety plan for the business. A fire risk assessment is a law-abiding document that can dramatically change an outcome of a fire for your business.

Fire risk assessments can be a complex nature, but it needn’t be. Scott Taylor, managing director of Assessed Risk explains why you should ensure you have a fire risk assessment in place. “If you have recently changed your office around, relocated your premises or renovated, a simple update to your risk assessment is an easy task when experts are on hand. It is crucial to ensure that your management plan reflects any changes in your layout or fire fighting equipment. It’s easily forgotten but a crucial step in fire safety management.”

Assessed Risk can provide fire risk assessments to Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Cheltenham and Newbury. The firm adds that fire risk assessments should consider exists and routes for an escape of fire, appropriate equipment for firefighting, systems to detect and give warnings and an appropriate plan for escape and evacuation.

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