Fire safety Management is still important26th May 2015
Do low risk environments exist?1st June 2015
So you had the fire risk assessment completed last year and you have addressed the issues raised. Now you can put the assessment on the shelf, sit back and relax knowing that your property complies with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
There are many reasons to keep you fire risk assessment up to date; but space does not allow me to list them all. Here I have listed 5 very good reasons why a fire risk assessment should be seen as a live document and be reviewed often.
- Political changes within the Fire and Rescue service can have both a positive and negative impact. Has the local fire station just closed? Has the number of full time or retained fire fighters changed? National politics can turn in to local disaster when it takes the Fire and Rescue service an extra five minutes to reach you.
- Local environmental changes may impact your assessment. Especially in urban areas where nearby construction works would introduce new risks. And when construction has finished other risks may become apparent. Did they build a new petrol station close by or restaurants and bars? All have different and varying impacts, but have an impact none the less.
- People and how they interact with the property changes over time. Familiarity may not always breed contempt but it does dull the senses and perception of risk. What was once a sterile area may slowly fill with combustible materials; fire doors may not close properly or minor repairs to life safety equipment may be delayed. After all what is the risk if these are not done straight away?
- Changes in technology may provide increased fire safety with minimal cost. Last year I saw a demonstration of a retro fitted suppression system which was safe to use in electrical installations. Great for using in little used areas of residential properties or plant rooms where a fire may go unnoticed.
- Prosecutions, fire investigations and new research increase the knowledge base that fire risk assessors base their recommendations on. The information and recommendations provided a year or two ago may now not include the latest acceptable thinking.
There are many more reasons to keep your fire risk assessment up to date but space does not allow me to cover them all.
Any business will review their continuity plans; the fire risk assessment should be treated with the same brevity. Don’t wait until something has gone wrong.
If you don’t feel confident then talk to someone who can review it for you.