Fire Safety Regulations Guide

Step 5. Keep Assessment Under Review

You should constantly monitor what you are doing to implement the fire risk assessment to assess how effectively the risk is being controlled.

If you have any reason to suspect that your fire risk assessment is no longer valid or there has been a significant change in your premises that has affected your fire precautions, you will need to review your assessment and if necessary revise it.

Reasons for review could include:

  • changes to work processes or the way that you organise them, including the introduction of new equipment;
  • alterations to the building, including the internal layout;
  • substantial changes to furniture and fixings;
  • the introduction, change of use or increase in the storage of hazardous substances;
  • the failure of fire precautions, e.g. fire-detection systems and alarm systems, life safety sprinklers or ventilation systems;
  • significant changes to displays or quantities of stock;
  • a significant increase in the number of people present; and
  • the presence of people with some form of disability.

You should consider the potential risk of any significant change before it is introduced. It is usually more effective to minimise a risk by, for example, ensuring adequate, appropriate storage space for an item before introducing it to your premises.

Do not amend your assessment for every trivial change, but if a change introduces new hazards you should consider them and, if significant, do whatever you need to do to keep the risks under control. In any case you should keep your assessment under review to make sure that the precautions are still working effectively. You may want to re-examine the fire prevention and protection measures at the same time as your health and safety assessment.

If a fire or ‘near miss’ occurs, this could indicate that your existing assessment may be inadequate and you should carry out a re-assessment. It is good practice to identify the cause of any incident and then review and, if necessary, revise your fire risk assessment in the light of this.

Alterations Notices

If you have been served with an ‘alterations notice’ check it to see whether you need to notify the enforcing authority about any changes you propose to make as a result of your review. If these changes include building work, you should also consult a building control body.

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