MEL Health and Safety Consultants

Fire Risk Assessments Vital

Unrecognised Fire Hazards could lead to Tragic Incidents

More than one-third of UK companies have not carried out their legal obligation to conduct a fire risk assessment.


The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) states that a “responsible person” from a business must carry out a fire risk assessment and review it frequently. As well as carrying out the formal assessment, businesses should encourage all their employees to identify any fire risks and report them to supervisors, with suggestions of how to avoid them.


Phil Grace, Liability Risk Manager for Norwich Union, said that Norwich Union’s research has revealed that 38% of firms have failed to carry out a fire risk assessment under RRO which would identify the risks to their employees and, just as importantly, to visitors to the premises.


Potential fire hazards should be identified and either removed completely, if possible, or reduced to an acceptable level with controls implemented. Fire prevention measures must be in place, e.g. fire-fighting equipment or evacuation procedures, and fire drills must be practiced regularly.


For all sizes of company, a fire poses great risks of losses to stock, raw materials and buildings. There could even be a threat to the future existence of the firm. As well as the legal requirement to carry out such risk assessments; lives, property and business resilience depend on it and businesses that do not comply with RRO could be prosecuted and fined thousands of pounds.