Fire risk assessments

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order came into effect on 1 October 2006. This new legislation consolidates all previous fire safety legislation applicable to the University’s buildings, resulting in one fire safety regime applying to all workplaces and other non-domestic premises.

The Order places significant responsibility on employers and building occupiers to implement a robust fire safety management regime, and is based upon the principle of risk assessment, which to a lesser degree has already been established under the (now revoked) Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.

The Order requires a more detailed and systematic fire risk assessment. This includes elements regarding structural protection and escape route provision, together with warning of fire and extinguisher provision.  These are corporate responsibilities rather than departmental, and will be addressed by the University Safety Office. However, the remaining issues, that is the identification of fire hazards, people at risk, lighting, signs and notices, the maintenance of fire safety equipment and systems, including the need for an emergency plan together with staff instruction and training still remain a departmental responsibility.

The following proforma is to be used to record the significant findings of the risk assessment specific to each individual building, and is to include details of the actions required and undertaken to remedy any problems recorded. Government guidance on Fire Risk Assessment is available. You may find this helpful in carrying out your Risk Assessment select the one appropriate for your Department.

The risk assessment, once completed, must be kept up to date, and should be checked on an annual basis. If any significant changes are made to the building that affect fire precautions, including use and activities, the assessment must be reviewed and if necessary revised accordingly.

The local fire and rescue authority will enforce the Order, and will have the power to inspect any building to check that duties in compliance with the Order are being carried out. Also to check that any significant findings noted in the assessment have been satisfactorily explained, addressed or acted upon. Consequently the enforcing authority will expect to be able to see a copy of the current fire risk assessment upon demand.


May 2007