Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guidance

If you need help assessing fire risks or in putting appropriate safety measures in place, you may choose to employ a fire risk assessor/consultant to help you.  Fire and Rescue Authorities do not complete fire risk assessments, but may give you advice about how to identify competent help.  Although they do not assess risks for you, it is important that you feel able to approach your local Fire and Rescue Authority for advice when you need it; they will help you to work through issues relating to fire safety.  The guidance provided here will assist you to identify a competent fire risk assessor.

The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC) has published a set of criteria against which the competency of those undertaking fire risk assessments can be judged.  The FRACC’s Competency Criteria For Fire Risk Assessors can be found at the bottom of this page.

No matter who carries out your fire risk assessment, duty-holders retain responsibility for ensuring that the assessment fulfils the requirements of the law.  If you have duties under Fire Safety law, you are not expected to be an expert in assessing and controlling fire safety risks, but even when employing a contractor to help with an assessment or additional safety measures, reasonable checks should be made to ensure that the contractor is competent to properly undertake the work.

There are some simple steps and precautions that can be taken to help verify the competence and suitability of a prospective contractor:

  • Be satisfied that the fire risk assessor who carries out the work is competent.  This can be demonstrated by them providing evidence of compliance with the competency criteria set down by the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council.
  • Check that they have experience of working for your kind of business and premises.
  • Be clear about the scope of the work to be carried out, ensure that the assessor is provided with access to all areas of the premises and with relevant information.
  • Obtain alternative quotes – make sure they all cover the same scope, so you can draw a proper comparison.
  • Make sure that you provide the assessor with access to all areas and information.
  • It is advisable to request references from previous clients in similar premises types; ask them if they were satisfied and if any problems were later identified by the Fire and Rescue Authority.
  • It is advisable to ask for proof that they have sufficient professional indemnity insurance and to seek assurance that the contractor is impartial and has a complaint’s procedure.
  • Keep and maintain records of the steps you took in selecting your fire risk assessor.