Fire Risk Assessments

Part 3 of the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 came into effect on 15 November 2010. This simplified existing Fire Safety legislation in non-domestic premises and reinforced the modern risk based approach to fire prevention.

The Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 was repealed on 15 November 2010 and the previous fire certification process ceased. Existing premises that have previously been subject to that Order will most likely be compliant in terms of their Fire Safety measures. However, it is now necessary for those premises to have a current Fire Risk Assessment.

If a Fire Risk Assessment for the premises has been carried out under the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 and this assessment has been regularly reviewed, then all that should be required is a revision of that assessment taking into account the wider scope of the new legislation as described in the guidance documents.

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The EFS Fire Risk Assessment 

Our Fire Risk Assessment has been developed in conjunction with PAS79 and related British Standards.  It is designed to minimize the risk to life and covers the following fire safety issues including a comprehensive and detailed written document covering:

  • Identification of combustible loading
  • Identification of ignition sources
  • Identification of oxygen sources
  • Means of escape
  • Fire detection and communication
  • Fire fighting equipment
  • Structural precautions
  • Fire prevention and management including provision of relevant instruction and training
  • Fire brigade access
  • Maintaining relevant records
  • Recommendations, as necessary, to achieve satisfactory fire safety standards 

In summary, anyone who has control to any extent of any premises has a duty to ensure that those using or occupying the premises are safe from harm caused by fire.  This is achieved by carrying out a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment on their property and implementing the findings.  This must be conducted by a competent person and be reviewed on a regular basis or when change occurs. 

A definition of ‘competent person’ is specified in the new Fire Safety Regulations. EFS Fire Risk Assessors have over 45 years expireance and are competent as defined within the legislative interpretation, in terms of training, qualifications, knowledge and experience. 

Businesses should understand that in addition to an initial assessment, the person(s) responsible must provide an effective on-going management of the fire safety process to minimize the risk to life and with the associated benefits of avoiding huge financial costs through the loss of the premises and/or litigation.

 Enforcement 

The Fire Service has powers to enforce the Regulations, through the issue of notices and by criminal prosecution, which if successful would result in a fine, imprisonment or both. 

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