A fire risk assessment is a process involving the systematic evaluation of the factors that determine the hazard from fire, the likelihood that there will be a fire and the consequences if one were to occur. This blog will explore how much a fire risk assessment costs and why costs might differ.
Why do we need Fire Risk Assessments?
As the responsible person you must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises used for work. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep people safe. Additionally, you must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people.
Carrying out the assessment
A fire risk assessment will help you:
- Identify the fire hazards.
- Identify people at risk.
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
- Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.
Help with the assessment
You can do the fire risk assessment yourself with the help of standard fire safety risk assessment guides. However, if you don’t have the expertise or time to do the fire risk assessment yourself you need to appoint a ‘competent person’ to help, for example a professional risk assessor.
Your local fire and rescue authority might be able to give you advice if you’re not sure your risk assessment’s been carried out properly. However, they can’t carry out risk assessments for you .
You should also be aware that having an external risk assessor to carry out the fire risk assessment does not remove your responsibility for identifying, managing and removing fire risks, as the Responsible Person liability for this remains with you.
How much does a fire risk assessment cost?
This is the big question, many people who do not have the time or expertise to carry out the necessary checks involved will employ an external company to do it for them. According to some online sites, when shopping around you’ll find that you’re quoted anything between £200 and £900 per fire risk assessment.
A sole trader will quote around £200-£250 but may have little back up or assurance and you could be taking a risk on quality and service. At the other extreme you could be quoted up to £900 from a branded Fire Extinguisher Manufacturer. In this instance you might simply be paying for the brand name and not for a better assessment.
A risk assessment looks at the premises as a whole and takes into consideration the potential risks. It will also take into account the needs of those who may find themselves involved.
A qualified assessor should provide recommendations for any improvements that are necessary. These will ensure that you reduce the likelihood of a fire starting, and should a fire start, the lives of any occupants are not endangered.
Which factors can influence the price?
Common factors which impact on the cost of your fire risk assessment include:
- Size of the building
- Number of occupants
- Vulnerability of occupants
- Use of the premises
- Number of floors
- Sleeping occupants
- Risk level of premises
All these factors will have an influence over how long it will take an assessor, and how many potential risks they may have to consider.
What Will Happen if I Don’t Have a Fire Risk Assessment?
Your business has to have a fire risk assessment by law; the punishment for not having one is severe and you’d be putting everyone in your business at risk. If that isn’t enough it is very doubtful that your insurance would pay out in the event of a fire. The consequences of that are unthinkable.
You can find out more about Fire Risk Assessments on the Government website, click here.
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