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We're all worried about making the world a safer place, but our responsibilities start nearer to home. If you're a business owner which uses more than four people (full or part time), possess a HMO (house in multiple occupation) or premises for public use, it's now law in the UK, under the Regulatory Reform Act 2005, that you execute fire safety assessment for your premises.

Fire safety assessments MUST be carried out by an expert fire risk assessor and every business must have a nominated 'responsible person' - it is their job to ensure that the business acts in compliance with the assessment which fire safety is monitored and reviewed at regular intervals. When you're visited by fire safety assessors, they will work alongside the 'responsible person' to identify any potential safety risks and check that you are acting according to regulatory requirements. Fire risk assessors are very well trained and conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation. They'll consider the security alarm and log book, existing fire safety equipment, emergency lighting, procedures already in position and then any service documents relating to on-site equipment such as fire extinguishers.

Your fire risk assessors will then place their findings and convey a detailed report, together with a listing of strategies for improved safety in your premises. These risk assessments can be used for insurance purposes and will act as a reference for future fire safety reviews. It is important to distinguish here between fire certificates and fire risk assessments; the previous aren't legal and were abolished to make method for the brand new, legally required, risk assessments - so if you have a fire certificate, it is vital that you appoint an experienced fire safety assessor without delay to obtain your fire risk assessment done as quickly as possible - or you are disobeying the law.

Fire Risk Assessments

Once your fire risk assessors have produced their report they will send a duplicate onto you and also check that you understand all the information and recommendations contained within. It is crucial that you act on any advice out of your risk assessments - they are consultative documents, demonstrating research and compliance. Not just are these fire risk assessments necessary with regards to the law, but they are also essential for the reassurance that your property, goods and most importantly, employees or tenants are fully protected.

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