A fire risk assessment should be the foundation for all fire precautions on any premises. The level and safety or service needs to be dictated by the findings of the risk assessment. Not only does fire kill it costs money, so correct fire safety is extremely important.
Where a building has been recently renovated, significantly altered, refurbished or built, fire detection arrangements, escape routes and facilities for the fire rescue service need to be designed, constructed and installed so that they are in line with up to date building regulations. These along with premises with a high number of residents should be assessed by a competent person who has comprehensive training or experience in fire risk assessment.
The aims of the fire risk assessment are:
- To identify the fire hazards.
- To reduce the risk of those hazards that will cause harm.
- To decide what physical fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of people in the building if a fire begins.
In residential care homes, the premises will require a safety strategy that reflects the occupants it is housing. It is also important for:
- employee-elected representatives;
- trade union-appointed health and safety representatives;
- enforcing authorities; and
- all other people who have a role in ensuring fire safety in premises providing residential care.
The fire risk assessment should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as disabled people, those who are mobility impaired and anyone who has learning difficulties. It should also include due consideration if any dangerous substance liable to be on the premises. Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take.