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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Risk Assessment – Part 86

February 22, 2021 12:18 pm

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 85, LWF examined the process followed when undertaking a fire risk assessment. In part 86, we will continue looking at the process of fire risk assessment.

The process of estimating the risk level of each risk involves considering the potential consequences of fire and the likelihood of fire occurring and is often laid out as a five step process. A five step process for fire risk assessment is often recommended in Government guidance documents on fire legislation and this allies with the five steps promoted by the Health and Safety Executive in their guidance documents for health and safety risk assessments.

The number of steps is largely irrelevant. The five steps promoted by the CLG in guidance for the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) differ from those given in Scotland to support the equivalent Scottish legislation, but both sets of ‘five steps’ contain more detail and therefore are, actually, more than five steps.  In addition, the FSO guidance includes staff training within the five steps given and that is certainly not a part of a fire risk assessment process, but rather a fire safety measure which should already be implemented and be assessed as part of the fire risk assessment.

In PAS 79 ( nine steps are laid out with each subject to detailed discussion and guidance. They are as follows:

  1. Obtain relevant information about the building, the processes carried out in the building, the occupants of the building and any previous fires.
  2. Identify the fire hazards and determine measures for their elimination or control.
  3. Make a (subjective) assessment of the likelihood of fire.
  4. Determine the physical fire protection measures, relevant to protection of people in the event of fire.
  5. Determine relevant information about fire safety management.
  6. Make a (subjective) assessment of the likely consequences to occupants in the event of fire.
  7. Make an assessment of the fire risk and decide if the fire risk is tolerable.
  8. Formulate an action plan./
  9. Carry out a periodic review of the risk assessment.

In part 87 of this series, LWF will look at the action plan, which should be formulated after ascertaining the level of fire risk. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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