Fire risk assessments – When is the best time to review?

Fire risk assessments replace property fire certificates.

The introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was a big change for fire management. Introduced in 2006 the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) removed the responsibility from the Fire and Rescue service to issue a fire certificate for a premises and placed the responsibility for fire prevention and mitigation on the person or organisation in control of the premises.

Fire risk assessment.

The RRO placed a duty on the person in control of premises, known as the Responsible Person, to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment and put in place management procedures and resources to reduce the risk of a fire to as low as possible. The fire risk assessment also requires the Responsible Person to consider the effects of a fire on persons who could be affected e.g. employees, visitors, members of the public, volunteers etc.

Staff and anyone else who could be affected by a fire should be informed of the risk assessment and informed of any changes made following a review.


There is no timescale stipulated for a fire risk assessment to be reviewed however an annual review is considered, good practice, under normal situations.

There are a number of instances when a fire risk assessment may need to be reviewed more frequently and we list some of these below:-

Changes in layout

Fire exit routes and the availability of fire exits can change e.g. during construction work. A temporary fire assessment and fire management plan may have to be introduced to cover the period of the works.

Personnel changes

Changes in the number of persons using the fire exit could impact on how quickly persons can escape in a fire situation. Too many people using too small an exit can slow the evacuation and cause crushing and other injuries.

Changes in operation

Changes in shift patterns, substances used, changes in processes can all have an impact on the suitability of a fire risk assessment. If shift patterns change are there enough fire marshals on duty etc.?

Following an incident

Fire risk assessments should be reviewed following an incident, this is very important in preventing a further incident.

Additional hazards introduced

Temporary or permanent changes in the operations such as additional plant introduced can have a significant effect on the emergency preparedness of a building.

Who can undertake the fire risk assessment?

The risk assessment for simple buildings with low hazards could be undertaken by someone with a reasonable knowledge of the RRO and health and safety etc. When significant hazards are present we would always recommend a professional health and safety consultant undertake the fire risk assessment and ongoing review.

As a national company we provide our fire consultancy services at some of the most significant buildings and airports in the UK.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment