Why is a Fire Risk Assessment Important?
A fire in the workplace can be one of the most serious and deadly of dangers, which can not only cause death or severe injuries, but can also have a serious financial impact upon a business and its trading operations. A large number of companies are so badly affected by a fire that they struggle to ever recover and sometimes have to close down.
Due to the serious consequences of a fire on people and property, it is a legal requirement in many countries for your employees to receive suitable fire safety training. This can include health and safety courses such as the NEBOSH Fire Certificate and training like the fire warden or fire marshall courses, as well as induction training for new starters and frequent refresher programmes.
Along with training, a key component of a company's fire safety and prevention responsibilities is the production of a fire risk assessment. This will identify issues such as where and how a fire could start on the premises including sources of ignition and fuel, who would be at risk and why (e.g. danger of being trapped, working in a particularly flammable environment etc.), and the steps required to remove or reduce the risk of fire. The risk assessment must also take into consideration the risks from the outbreak of fire on those people who are not employed by the company but may still be in danger such as nearby members of the public or visitors to the site. The fire risk assessment is therefore an extremely important document which needs to be performed by a competent person.