What Is Fire Safety Risk Assessment and How To Do It?

Fire safety is essential for any business, but many managers struggle to navigate the complex requirements and guidelines surrounding fire risk assessments. As a result, they may end up overlooking critical safety hazards, which can be both costly and dangerous. Fortunately, professional assessors are available to help businesses identify and manage fire risks comprehensively and effectively. By relying on the expertise of trained assessors, businesses can save time, money, and even lives.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of working with professional assessors for fire risk assessments and how to do fire risk assessment. We’ll take a closer look at what these assessors do, how they can help businesses of all sizes, and what to look for when choosing an assessor.

Whether you’re a business owner or a manager responsible for fire safety, this post will give you the information you need to make informed decisions and keep your workplace safe.

What is a Fire Safety Risk Assessment?   

A fire risk assessment evaluates or examines fire hazards and measures to protect against fire. It also involves preparation to ensure the safety of those at risk. In the ideal scenario, employees, site managers, and safety officials work together to develop efficient fire safety programs based on risk assessments for fire.

Why Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment?

In addition to a lawful requirement, conducting a fire risk analysis will reduce the likelihood of a fire. The consequences of fires are not just damaging to property. Still, they can affect the reputation of businesses and undermine the confidence that customers can have in the ability and importance of the company to safeguard people from harm.

Conducting an assessment of fire risk indicates that the company is proactive in protecting against fire. Conducting periodic fire risk assessments can also help boost the trust in potential buyers or clients since it shows that the company is trustworthy and aware of the dangers.

The Benefits of Fire Risk Assessments

Fire risk assessments are a critical aspect of workplace safety, and they offer a range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. Here are just a few of the advantages of working with a professional assessor for your fire risk assessment:

Compliance with UK regulations

In the UK, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that all non-domestic premises have a fire risk assessment in place. This is a legal requirement, and failure to comply can result in severe consequences, including fines and even imprisonment. Working with a professional assessor can ensure that your business meets these regulations and avoids costly penalties.

Improved fire safety and prevention

One of the most significant benefits of a fire risk assessment is improved fire safety and prevention. A professional assessor can identify and recommend addressing potential fire hazards in your workplace.

This can include overloaded electrical sockets, blocked escape routes, or faulty fire extinguishers. By identifying and addressing these hazards, businesses can reduce the risk of a fire breaking out and improve workplace safety.

Potential cost savings and insurance benefits

Investing in a fire risk assessment may seem unnecessary, but it can save businesses money in the long run.

Businesses can reduce the risk of property damage and downtime by identifying potential hazards and addressing them before a fire breaks out. This can help to prevent costly repairs or replacements and keep the business running smoothly. Additionally, some insurance providers may offer reduced premiums for businesses that have undergone a fire risk assessment, as they are seen as lower-risk clients.

The Role of Professional Assessors in Fire Risk Assessments

Professional assessors play a crucial role in fire risk assessments, ensuring businesses meet legal requirements and improve fire safety. Look at what you can expect from a professional assessor during a fire risk assessment.

Qualifications and expertise

When selecting a professional assessor, it’s essential to ensure they have the necessary qualifications and expertise. In the UK, professional assessors should have completed the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC) accredited training or an equivalent course.

They should also have experience conducting fire risk assessments for businesses in a similar industry to yours. Additionally, assessors should thoroughly understand UK fire safety regulations and standards.

The assessment process

During a fire risk assessment, a professional assessor will comprehensively evaluate your workplace. This includes identifying potential fire hazards and evaluating the effectiveness of existing fire safety measures.

The assessor will then recommend improvements, such as upgrading fire extinguishers or improving escape routes.

The assessment will also include an evaluation of the building’s structure, including the materials used and the layout of the building.

Documentation and reporting

After completing the assessment, the professional assessor will provide a detailed report outlining their findings and recommendations. This report should include a summary of the assessment, a list of identified hazards, and a detailed plan for addressing them.

The report should also include a prioritised list of recommendations, considering any financial or time constraints. Documentation is essential for demonstrating compliance with UK regulations and for future reference if any changes are made to the workplace.

By working with a professional assessor, businesses can ensure they meet legal requirements, improve fire safety, and protect their employees and property.

How to Choose a Professional Fire Risk Assessor

Choosing a professional fire risk assessor is a critical step in ensuring the safety and compliance of your business. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection:

Research and credentials

Professional associations and accreditations: Look for assessors who are members of recognized industry associations and have relevant accreditations. This demonstrates their commitment to high standards and best practices in fire risk assessments.

Reviews and references: Check online reviews and references from previous clients to understand the assessor’s track record and reputation.

Experience and references

Types of businesses served: Find an assessor with experience working with businesses similar to yours in industry and size.

Case studies and testimonials: Ask for case studies and testimonials from previous clients to see how they have helped other businesses.

Cost and availability

Competitive pricing and transparent fees: Look for assessors who offer competitive pricing and transparent fees with no hidden costs or surprises.

Flexible scheduling and timely reports: Choose an assessor who can work around your schedule and deliver timely, comprehensive reports to keep your business running smoothly.

Fire risk assessments conducted by professional assessors can help prevent accidents, reduce liability, and save money in the long run.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment

How to Do Fire Safety Risk Assessment

In a fire risk assessment, you look at the factors within your work tasks that could cause injury to individuals from fire. It can help you identify the probability of a fire occurrence and the risk that workplaces pose to employees there.

Its objective is to determine if the current fire safety measures are sufficient and appropriate to the presented risk or if the risk requires reduction through controls.

The term “Fire Risk” is defined as the likelihood of a fire occurrence multiplied by the severity of the fire, i.e., the potential harm and the consequences of death and property loss.

A fire hazard can cause harm depending on how likely it will cause a fire and whether there will be property or life loss consequences.

The determination of the possibility for harm is a task for the assessor, who must determine the potential consequences of the hazard.

The risk of ignition is the most critical consideration; however, one must also consider the number of chances it can occur and the elements that might cause it to happen, e.g., the people’s ability, the surroundings, and the equipment.

The possibility of development is influenced by several aspects, not the least of which is when the fire may go on to burn before it is noticed and before the fire could threaten the means to escape.

Factors like the construction of buildings (combustible materials or lack in compartmentation) and the contents (explosive or flammable substances that can provide fuel) also influence this.

The fire risk assessment must meet the following criteria:

  • The assessment of fire risk should be comprehensive;
  • Provide significant conclusions and actions to minimize and mitigate the risk of fire;
  • Find any group of individuals at particular risk;
  • A written record (when you have five employees or more);
  • The plan should be reviewed regularly in response to changes in the facility, technical and organizational measures, work processes, and routines.
How to Do Fire Safety Risk Assessment

Five steps are involved in the fire risk assessment process.

  • Step 1 – Identify the fire hazards present at your premises or workplace.
  • Step 2 – Identify the people who’re at risk.
  • Step 3 – Evaluate & decide if the current fire safety measures are adequate or need any improvement.
  • Step 4 – Record the findings, develop an emergency plan, inform, instruct, and train.
  • Step 5 – Conduct reviews regularly.

The following paragraphs will describe the five steps of fire risk assessment in more detail, but this is just an overview. The person responsible must ensure they follow the comprehensive procedures for assessing fire risks in the specific guidelines for buildings developed from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Step 1: Identify the fire hazards present at your premises or workplace.

You have to identify the following:

  • Ignition sources include naked flames, heaters, or other commercial operations.
  • Sources of energy such as waste materials display materials, textiles, or other products that are not in stock;
  • Oxygen sources like air conditioning systems commercial or medical oxygen supplies.

Structures like flues and ducts, holes cut into firewalls without a fire stop, large areas of combustible materials; unoccupied roof spaces; excessively long escape routes, etc., must also be considered.

Step 2: Identify the people who’re at risk.

You’ll need to determine that are particularly susceptible to risk, for example:

  • Any person who could be asleep at the premises or workplace.
  • Those present in large numbers.
  • People who are not familiar with the layout.
  • People who are exposed to a particular fire risk.
  • Those who suffer from impaired hearing, sight, mobility, or other disabilities;
  • People who’re working near to fire dangers;
  • People who work on their own or lone workers or in isolated or remote zones (e.g., storage spaces or roofs) );
  • Parents or children with infants;
  • The old or weak;
  • Any people who cannot react quickly;
  • external contractors, agencies and the temporary employees.

Step 3: Evaluate & decide if the current fire safety measures are adequate or need any improvement.

The process is as follows:

(1) Assess the risk of fire

As a result of the fire prevention measures observed during the risk assessment, it is determined that this building is at risk of fire (probability of ignition) as follows:


Definition of terms.


There is a little fire risk, few combustibles, no high-flammability substances, and virtually no heat sources.


Fire is unlikely to spread rapidly since there are a lot of combustible materials and heat sources.


There is a severe risk of fire, substantial quantities of combustible materials, highly flammable substances, or there is a possibility of fire spreading rapidly.

(2) Identify the potential consequences of a fire

Compiling the structure of the building as well as people who live there, and safety measures and procedures that were in place at the time of the risk evaluation, it is believed that the implications for safety and life in the event of a fire will be:

Slight harmModerate harmExtreme harm

Definition of terms:

Slight harm:

In case of a fire outbreak, no severe injuries or deaths are likely to occur.

Moderate harm:

It is unlikely that there will be several fatalities in fire outbreaks, but it may cause injuries to one or more occupants.

Extreme harm:

Several occupants are at risk of severe injury or death.

NB! In determining the level of harm, consider the sleeping occupants.

(3) Determine the risk rating

Using the results from (1) and (2) above use the table below to determine the risk rating.

Potential consequences
if a fire was to occur>
Risk of a fire occurring
Slight harmModerate harmExtreme harm
LowTrivial riskTolerable riskModerate risk
MediumTolerable riskModerate riskSubstantial risk
HighModerate riskSubstantial riskIntolerable risk

Accordingly, it is considered that the risk to life from fire at this building is:


(4) Determine the Action level and timeframe

Using the table below, determine the action level and timescale for the risk rating from (3).

Risk LevelAction required & Timescale
TrivialThere is no need to take action, and records should not be kept in detail, although regular monitoring is recommended.
TolerableThere is no need for significant new controls; However, the situation needs regular monitoring, and improvements that are not too costly may be considered.
ModerateEfforts should be made to minimize the risk. It is essential to implement risk reduction measures within a specified time frame and monitor them on an ongoing basis.
SubstantialTo reduce the risk, considerable resources may need to be allocated. Unoccupied buildings should not be occupied until the risk has been reduced. Action should be taken immediately if the building is occupied.
IntolerableIntolerable: Until the risk is reduced, the area (or building) should not be occupied.
steps in fire safety risk assessment

Where the existing measures for fire safety are deemed inadequate, you should consider removing or reducing fire hazards wherever possible to reduce the risk. For example:

  • Replace materials that are highly flammable with less flammable ones.
  • Separate flammable materials from the sources of ignition.
  • Make sure that the ban on smoking is in place.
  • Reduce the time to evacuate and distance of escape routes.
  • Provide additional escape routes.
  • Add additional alarms to your fire system.
  • Improve fire signage.
  • Think about setting up active firefighting systems, e.g., sprinklers.
  • Appoint fire wardens.
  • Programs for training in fire safety.

Step 4: Record the findings, develop an emergency plan, inform, instruct, and train.

Recording, planning, instructing, informing, and training are the steps you will take in this step. To identify people at risk, you must document the fire hazards identified in Step 1 and the fire hazards identified in step 2. The action taken under Step 3 must also be documented.

Recording your fire safety risk assessment information must be completed using the appropriate corporate fire safety risk assessment form. This includes:

  • Large Places of Assembly
  • Offices
  • Residential Care Premises
  • Educational or Academic Premises
  • Small and Medium Place of Assembly
  • Sleeping Accommodation

For advice on conducting fire risk assessments for premises that do not fall under any of the above categories, contact the Safety Section on (020) 8545 3384. Your premises will also require an emergency plan.

In case of a fire on your property or in a nearby facility, it should include the steps you need to take.

Details on emergency plans can be found below.

It is essential to provide employees and anyone else with the necessary information, instruction, and training on fire safety risks within the area and about fire safety measures to minimize the risks. Certain, such as fire marshals, need more outstanding training.

Step 5 – Conduct reviews regularly

Fire-risk assessments must be current and accurate. If a considerable change is made to your premises’ level of risk or a near miss, you should reevaluate your fire-risk assessment. Other factors to consider when reviewing the assessment include:

  • The nature, type, and layout of the premises;
  • Number and kind of people of the premises;
  • Type, location, and layout of the equipment and plant.
  • A change in the premises, people, equipment, and plant;
  • Stored materials are on-site.
  • An increase in materials stored on site.
  • New materials stored on site.
  • New procedures and processes performed on-site.
  • A new shift pattern that includes night shifts.

Risk assessments for fires: some common pitfalls

There are common pitfalls to avoid during any assessment process. These include:

  • Performing a retrospective risk assessment to support a previous decision;
  • The use of generic assessments when site-specific assessments are necessary;
  • Inappropriately conducting risk assessments;
  • Ignoring the involvement of a team. In risk assessment, teamwork is recommended whenever possible. To ensure comprehensive coverage of all fire hazards, it is essential to bring together the knowledge, skills, expertise, and experiences of a wide range of individuals.
  • Hazard identification failure;
  • Not considering all possible outcomes;
  • The failure to consider the hierarchy of controls;
  • Lack of implementation of control measures;
  • Failing to implement control measures as a result of a risk assessment;
  • Those covered by the risk assessment are not informed about its results.

Utilizing an accurate fire risk assessment The checklist ensures that you don’t forget anything when it’s time to fulfill the legal requirements. If done according to the most appropriate standards, these crucial checks will ensure that your structures are as safe from fire as is possible and protect the lives and the livelihood of those who live there.

An inventory is a simple method to ensure you’re not missing any element you need to consider when assessing your risks.

What is a Fire Risk Assessment Checklist?

The fire risk assessments are carried out by the person(s) in charge person(s) to discover dangers and risks. If you own commercial space and are legally required to conduct fire risk assessments and keep a log of the results.

The assessment of fire risks guidelines can be found within the Order on Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment Template (PDF Download)

Checklists are a useful tool that will ensure you don’t miss any aspect that is part of the fire risk analysis.

It’s easy to overlook even the simplest steps that could be extremely harmful to a company and its personnel in the case of fire.

OSHA Standards

Fire safety is addressed in specific OSHA standards for recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction. Click here to check OSHA standards and documents related to fire safety.

Businesses can protect their employees, customers, and assets by ensuring compliance with UK regulations, improving fire safety and prevention measures, and potentially securing cost savings and insurance benefits.

If you haven’t yet scheduled a fire risk assessment for your business, now is the time to take action. Contact Fire Risk Assessments, a trusted and experienced UK-based company, to schedule your assessment and take the first step towards more excellent fire safety and peace of mind.

About Waqar Ali

My name is Waqar and I am a Health and Safety Advisor at Laing O'Rourke, one of the leading construction companies in the UK. I have always been passionate about safety and have pursued a career in this field to make a positive impact on people's lives.

Leave a Comment