Fire Risk Assessment In Manchester
The impact that fire can leave on business premises can, at its worst, be irreparable. While there will always be fire risks, there are plenty of processes, actions, and procedures that can be enacted to mitigate the impact, and reduce the chance of a fire occurring. By letting our team, here at SMSE, undertake a fire safety risk assessment, your business can appoint competent persons, set up a management plan, and fulfil your legal requirement, as a business owner, to have fire safety management plans in place. Working with us, and, in addition, allowing our team to train yours, will ensure that you all have adequate safety training to know what to do to prevent fires or put one out if the worst happens, and one starts.
As the old saying goes 'prevention is better than the cure'. And, here at SMSE, we believe this fully, which is why, as well as carrying out a proper risk assessment, we'll inform your employees about what risks to look out for so that, going forward, they feel empowered to mitigate those risks and create a safer work environment for everyone.
So, if you already know that your Manchester-based business requires a fire risk assessment, and you also know that you want to give appropriate safety training to your staff, then please get in touch with our team today by phone on 0845 224 0028, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. However, if you still have a few questions, or are interested to know how our help could benefit your business, then read on!
What Is A Fire Risk Assessment?
A fire risk assessment is essentially a systematic procedure that involves examining, and analysing, an office, or non-domestic premises, and looking at what elements pose a significant fire risk that, if left unattended, misused or damaged, could start a fire.
Our expert team, at SMSE, have been doing fire risk assessments for businesses in Manchester, and across the north, for many years and have an excellent sense for this procedure. By drawing on this level of experience, we can offer a quick, comprehensive service that won't disrupt your daily business activities.
Once we have completed the risk assessment on your business premises, you will have a crystal-clear picture of the fire risks that are present. We'll clearly show you what is a risk and offer up emergency plans, and staff training, so these risks can be mitigated as much as possible.
We can also inform you of relevant safety legislation, and offer safety advice, so you feel comfortable knowing what to do in the event of a fire.
Our Fire Risk Assessment Service In Manchester
Businesses across Manchester love the service that we offer, they enjoy the peace of mind that they get from knowing a team of experts are working at making sure their physical business premises are safe, and the staff inside are knowledgeable and trained to act if a fire strikes.
We are driven to help businesses because we know that the effects of fire on every aspect of a business can be devastating. Therefore, our risk assessors do everything they can, while carrying out this assessment, to ensure your business is as safe as it can be.
Obviously, there will always be an element of fire risk in any building, it's impossible to eliminate any potential threat to employee safety. However, that isn't the point of a risk assessment, it's about acknowledging those risks, measuring their level of severity, and putting plans into place, based on relevant safety laws, that protect people, and businesses.
Why Your Business Needs An Assessment
By law, if your business has five or more employees, you are required to conduct a fire risk assessment and keep a written record. This is a legal requirement under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and supported by the guidance found in ‘Fire Safety in the Workplace’ which is issued by the UK government.
If you have less than five employees, you do not need to keep a written record, but the team here at SMSE strongly recommend that you do for reference purposes. It is the easiest and most convenient way to communicate your findings, and demonstrate you are assessing any potential fire risk at your property.
Identifying any risks of fire within your property, and having a plan in place to minimise them, will also reduce the chance of disruption to your business. It ensures the safety of the employees and the general public, and also avoids potential fire-related injuries or fatalities.
Our health and safety consultants in Manchester are registered on the Health and Safety Executives Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register. We provide a first-class service to help you understand where your fire risks are, and assist you in achieving your objectives to minimise them.
We will help you:
- Evaluate your building’s age, condition and layout.
- Identify potential areas of fire risk.
- Record your existing fire safety equipment and protocols.
- Evaluate your existing fire safety training and drills.
- Produce a fire risk report that highlights areas that require attention.
- Provide recommendations for improvements.
How To Do An Assessment
Step 1 – Identify Fire Hazards
First up, you need to identify how a fire could start. Check sources of ignition, naked flames, electrical equipment and any processes your company carries out that may increase the risk of a fire. A fire risk assessment should also consider flammable materials, like cardboard or waste materials.
Step 2 – Identify Who Is At Risk
Identify who is at risk. Most of the time, this will be anyone and everyone that passes through your premises. However, some people may have greater exposure to the risks, due to the nature of their job, or where they conduct their duties within the business.
Step 3 – Assess And Evaluate Your Findings
At this stage, you will analyse the risks you have identified against your existing fire safety equipment and protocols. You will also re-evaluate fire risks that were highlighted in your previous assessments to ascertain whether or not they have improved.
Step 4 – Record, Plan, Improve And Train
Record the risks you have identified and put a plan in place/see what has been done to reduce them. Once the plan is in place, you should discuss it with all members of staff, so they know what to do in the event of a fire.
How Often Should A Fire Risk Assessment Be Carried Out?
The fire risk assessment experts here at SMS Europe understand the importance of having regular, scheduled, fire risk assessments to minimise the chances of injury or fatality. However, there are no laws or actual guidelines in place to specify the regularity of fire risk assessments. The advice is that an assessment should take place at ‘regular’ intervals.
The interpretation of this is left to the discretion of the responsible person charged with carrying out your assessment. The size of your property, and the nature of the work that takes place inside it, will play a big part in this decision.
In terms of who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment within a business, whether it’s a fire risk assessment in Wythenshawe, Trafford or anywhere else in the Manchester area – it is the ‘responsible person’ of your business that should take responsibility for arranging the completion of a fire risk assessment.
Technically, anyone who is competent to do so can carry out a fire risk assessment. However, it is highly advised that you use health and safety consultants in Manchester, who have the experience, training and skills required to carry out thorough, and comprehensive, assessments.
Who Should Carry Out This Procedure?
The answer to this question very much depends on how big or complex your organisation is. If you run a large or complex business operation then you are best obtaining the help and experience of a Manchester-based fire risk assessment expert. The pattern usually follows that the larger the business, the higher the potential for fire risks, which often means more time and skill spent identifying them.
If you are responsible for a heritage building, like a museum or a listed building, again, the advice is to acquire the assistance of a safety risk assessment specialist. A competent person or risk assessor with a good understanding of fire safety within historic buildings is required in this instance, as heritage buildings have particular risks and limitations. This is especially true for fire risk assessments in Salford, Bury, Rochdale and all other rural areas around Manchester that contain historical properties.
If you run a smaller business or SME, and you believe that your potential fire hazards are small or manageable, then you can carry out fire risk assessments yourself. To ensure consistency and accountability in your safety risk assessment, you should appoint a responsible person within your organisation to carry out your risk assessments. This is usually a person who has control or management over the premises, for example, the owner or primary occupier.
What Is The Penalty For Not Having This Assessment In Place?
The overall purpose of a fire risk assessment is to assess the materials, substances and associated safety precautions your organisation already has in place. It is also a chance to identify any new potential risks, dangerous substances and requirements for fresh safety measures. This is a legal requirement to ensure the people on your premises are going to be safe and compliant.
Failure to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 may result in the Fire Brigade giving you 1 of 3 different notices. An enforcement notice is one that is given to your responsible person. It will say that the relevant local fire authority has deemed that your responsible person has failed to comply with the order.
An alterations notice is a document that states, in the opinion of the relevant local fire authority, a potential change to your premises may cause a fire risk. The document will state the specific matter which constitutes a risk. Your competent person must notify the authority of the proposed changes. A prohibition notice will restrict the use of your property, or close it entirely if an authority believes it has the potential to cause harm to people.
If your responsible person fails to meet legal duties in this respect, they could face an unlimited fine and/or up-to 2 years in prison. Ultimately, if you do not have a fire risk assessment in place, the penalty could end up being people’s lives.
What Are Some Common Fire Hazards?
Plug Sockets, Cables and Wires
Overloaded sockets, overlapping extension cables and exposed wires all pose a huge fire risk. Overloaded sockets can overheat and faulty wiring can cause shocks, skin burns and sparks that result in fires. If your escape route is littered with overlapping extension cables, your route to safety suddenly becomes risky and treacherous.
A build-up of waste materials like cardboard, paper, plastic, and other combustible materials, can be a problem in any workplace. Regular disposal of such materials from your main area of work, or, keeping them in a designated area away from the primary building, will help to lower the risk of fire hazards. This is especially true if your business deals with flammable liquids or vapours.
Burnt food is one of the most common causes of fire hazards in the workplace, especially if your property has a canteen or communal kitchen area. Misplaced papers, spillages and lack of tidiness can all pose fire risks too. Making sure your employees are adequately trained in fire safety will ensure these risks are kept to a minimum.
Cluttered Working Conditions
We all like to make our workplace seem like a second home, especially if you work in an office and have your own desk. Trinkets, nick-nacks, and little mementoes provide your workspace with personality, character and individualism. They also provide an opportunity to harbour more dust, grease and other contaminants that make fires more likely.
Untested Fire Alarms
It may seem odd to say but it is true, untested fire alarms still pose one of the biggest fire safety hazards we know of today. Having an alarm system installed is fantastic, but only if it works and, more importantly, you know that it works. Create a maintenance schedule to ensure your fire alarms are frequently tested.
Understanding How Fires Start
Historically, we have always known that three fundamental things are required for a fire to start – oxygen, heat and fuel. This is commonly referred to as the ‘fire triangle’. More recently, it has been determined that a fourth element is also necessary – a chemical chain reaction. This is now frequently referred to as a ‘fire tetrahedron’.
The fuel is any combustible material that will burn – like paper, cardboard, oil, plastic and fabric. Sufficient heat is required to raise the material to its ignition temperature, and subsequently, an exothermic chemical chain reaction occurs. Oxygen sustains the combustion and ensures the fire can continue burning. Theoretically, if you remove any of these four things, a fire cannot start or it will be extinguished.
Why Choose SMSE?
As members of the Health and Safety Executives Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register, our health and safety consultants in Manchester are skilled, trained and experienced. Our stringent and comprehensive fire risk assessments form just a small part of our repertoire of services, which also includes COVID 19 risk assessments and property risk assessments and audits.
With over 25 years of experience, SMSE is one of the most knowledgeable and established health and safety consultants in the North West of the UK. We are experts at keeping your employees and people at risk, safe and secure in your working environment. All of our safety risk assessments are comprehensive, compliant and of the highest quality. We understand that every property and business premise is different and unique, so we treat our clients in the exact same manner.
Our fire risk assessments in places such as Bolton, Trafford, Wigan, and all across the Greater Manchester area, are tailored to your company’s individual needs and requirements. This ensures our approach is both suitable, sufficient, and means you get exactly what you need from our service. This applies to everything we have to offer here at SMSE, from our full range of risk assessments, to our health and safety services, and health and safety training courses.
Get In Touch With SMS Europe Today To Learn More
We hope this page has helped you understand the importance of thorough risk assessments, and the need for it to be carried out by experts, both from a safety, and legislative, point of view.
In Manchester, and the surrounding areas of Salford, Sale and Prestwich, we have helped a number of small to medium-sized businesses with their fire risk assessment. As well as this, we also offer training in several other areas including IOSH Working Safely and IOSH Managing Safely, COSHH awareness courses and Covid-19 risk assessments.
So, if you're based in this location then please get in touch with us here at SMS Europe, by phone on 0845 224 0028, or email us on email@example.com.