The 5 steps of a fire risk assessment

It is very important that time is taken to carefully consider all potential fire risks in and around the premises.

This assessment is also necessary to comply with the fire safety order.

Take a look at the 5 simple steps (below) these will assist you in initially identifying potential hazards and the people at risk within your place of worship, additional steps outline further considerations. 

If you are in doubt about fire safety you should consult your local fire authority or engage professional expertise to assist you.

Identify:

  • Sources of ignition such as naked flames or heaters.
  • Sources of fuel such as accumulated waste, display materials, textiles or overstocked products.
  • Sources of additional oxygen such as forced air circulation or medicinal or commercial oxygen supplies.

Consider those people who may be especially at risk such as:

  • People working in close proximity to fire hazards;
  • Yourself and your helpers if you are ‘managing’ the premises but are unfamiliar with the location, e.g. organisers hiring the venue;
  • People working alone or in isolated areas;
  • Children or parents with young children;
  • The elderly or infirm and people with disabilities.

Then make sure that adequate fire precautions are in place to warn people in the event of fire and allow them to escape safely.

In general, fires start in one of three ways:

  • accidentally, for example when lighting displays are knocked over;
  • by act or omission, such as waste being allowed to accumulate near to a heat source; and
  • deliberately, such as an arson attack.

Evaluate the level of risk in your premises. You should consider removing or reducing hazards where possible and reduce any risks you have identified, such as:

  • Replace highly combustible materials with less combustible ones.
  • Ensuring the premises is properly secure.

In addition, make sure that proper consideration has been given to escape routes and that these are clearly marked together with an appropriate assembly point. Escape routes should be routinely checked to make sure they are not obstructed in any way. See 3.1.3 for more details.
 

It is good practice to record, plan, instruct, inform and train. You will need to record the hazards and types of people you have identified as being at risk in Step 1 and Step 2. You should also record what you did about it in Step 3. A simple plan can help you achieve this.

Making an emergency plan, tailored to your premises is strongly advised. Include the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire in your premises or any adjoining premises, this will assist you in complying with the law and is good practice. Employees and occasionally others, such as volunteers or members of the congregation will need to be provided with instructions.

All employees should receive adequate information and training about the risks in the premises. Some, such as fire marshals, will require more thorough training.

Important note: Equip your Fire Warden with a Hi Viz Vest

You should make sure your fire risk assessment is up to date, you will need to re-examine your fire risk assessment every time there is a significant change to the level of risk in your premises. This could include an increase or change in the type or number of people using your premises.

For further information and assessment forms visit the following websites. For England and Wales

www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-5-step-checklist 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-small-and-medium-places-of-assembly

www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-large-places-of-assembly

Making an emergency plan, tailored to your premises is strongly advised. Including the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire in your premises or any adjoining premises will assist you in complying with the law and is good practice. Employees and occasionally others, such as volunteers or members of the congregation will need to be provided with instructions.

All employees should receive adequate information and training about the risks in the premises. Some, such as fire marshals, will require more thorough training.  

For further information and assessment forms visit the following websites.

For England and Wales

www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-5-step-checklist
www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-large-places-of-assembly

Making an emergency plan, tailored to your premises is strongly advised. Including the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire in your premises or any adjoining premises will assist you in complying with the law and is good practice. Staff and occasionally others, such as volunteers or members of the congregation will need to be provided with instructions.

All employees should receive adequate information and training about the risks in the premises. Some, such as fire marshals, will require more thorough training.