Do You Need A Review or Renew?

Review or Renew your Fire Risk Assessment

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places the responsibility on building owners, employers and occupiers to regularly assess the fire safety procedures in their buildings and in the workplace.

The Order doesn’t specify how often a risk assessment need be performed but does state that a review should take place at ‘regular’ intervals [“any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date”]. It is best practice to continually monitor the measures in place to assess how successfully the risks are being controlled. Commonly, it has become standard practice to review assessments on a yearly basis.

Also, it is a legal requirement for every employer and self-employed person to make an assessment of the health and safety risks arising out of their work. The purpose of the assessment is to identify what needs to be done to control health and safety risks – Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. 

As well as periodic updates, there are also a number of things that could trigger a revisit of the assessment, regardless of the length of time that had elapsed since the last one, for instance;

  • Your Fire Risk Assessment/Assessor recommends a review date;
  • If there is a reason to think the assessment is no longer valid
  • Alterations are made to the structure of the building (either internal or external changes)
  • A fire-related incident or accident occurs
  • Fire safety equipment is damaged (either passive or active measures)
  • Significant changes or numbers of personnel
  • A staff member with a disability is hired
  • A young person is hired
  • Changes to equipment, machinery or larger furniture and fixtures occur
  • Hazardous substance storage is introduced or changed
  • Changes in legislation

The Local Government Association (LGA) has guidance on fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats.

This recommends that for low-rise blocks of up to three storeys above ground, built in the last 20 years, Fire Risk Assessments should be:

  • Reviewed every 2 years
  • Redone every 4 years

For blocks with higher risks (for example, because of the age of the building), or those more than 3 storeys high, the LGA recommends assessments should be:

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Reviewed every year
  • Redone every 3 years

In extreme cases (for the highest-risk buildings), the LGA recommends doing a new Fire Risk Assessment once a year.

If we have undertaken your Fire Risk Assessment, you will be offered a unique opportunity to Review or Renew your Fire Risk Assessment. This is only available to our existing customers as it is offered at a very competitive rate.

To arrange your Review or Renew, call us now or enquire via our contact form.

Arrow Down 1

Frequently Asked Questions

Arrow Down 1

The guidance on this states that a Fire Risk Assessment will need to be carried out at “regular” intervals based on the risk of the building. There are certain instances when you must review your Fire Risk Assessment and update your document, for example, if:

  • Your Fire Risk Assessment/Assessor recommends a review date
  • If there is a reason to think the assessment is no longer valid
  • Alterations are made to the structure of the building (either internal or external changes)
  • A fire-related incident or accident occurs
  • Fire safety equipment is damaged (either passive or active measures)
  • Significant changes or numbers of personnel
  • A staff member with a disability is hired
  • A young person is hired
  • Changes to equipment, machinery or larger furniture and fixtures occur
  • Hazardous substance storage is introduced or changed
  • Changes in legislation

There is no fixed period for reviewing your Fire Risk Assessment however most of our clients, and standard best practice, choose to review their fire safety procedures annually, which is a great idea. It shows they are committed to ensuring their colleagues and premises are safe both now and in the future.

The law simply says that the person responsible for the assessment in your building must review it ‘regularly’ to make sure it’s up to date.

In many cases, if there have been no significant changes, clients are competent to carry out the Review of their Fire Risk Assessment, even if it was carried out by a third party originally, provided they were involved enough in the original Fire Risk Assessment to understand the content and the Action Plan. Often the Review is simply a question of checking that the information recorded is still correct, that all necessary maintenance of the fire protection equipment is being carried out, and that all recommended actions have been completed or are in hand. A simple revised Action Plan can then be formulated, and, most importantly, the Review should be recorded.

Broadly speaking, assessments are conducted in five key steps:

  • Identify fire hazards.
  • Identify people at risk.
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  • Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

No, but it has become standard practice to review assessments on a yearly basis.

The Fire Safety Order doesn’t specify how often a risk assessment need be performed but does state that a review should take place at ‘regular’ intervals [“any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date”].

Some clients prefer to have a third party carry out the Review each year, as a second pair of eyes, and this is particularly relevant to larger premises or where there are frequent changes.

Even if clients carry out their own annual Reviews, it is prudent to get a third party to re-visit the Fire Risk Assessment after 5 years, so that changes in legislation and guidance can be taken into account.

You must review it if:

  • there’s reason to think it’s no longer valid (for example, if there has been a fire in the shared parts of the building)
  • there have been significant changes since the assessment was done (for example, major building works or more people using the building)

The assessment itself may include a recommendation of how often the person responsible for it should review it.

Reviewing an existing fire risk assessment can take less time than carrying out a full new assessment. So, reviews can be done more frequently.

Even though there is no fixed period for reviewing fire risk assessments, it is best practice to CONTINUALLY monitor the measures in place to assess how successfully the risks are being controlled. Over time, the risks will probably change.

Regularly reviewing a record of any fires or near-misses could give you the vital information you need to consider anything you may have overlooked.

Should you identify anything significant requiring changes to the plan, everyone will need informing. Then where appropriate, ensure staff also receive re-training.

We contact our clients every year to remind them about the need to review their Fire Risk Assessment and to offer them advice about any changes that may need to be made. Our clients tell us the polite reminder and advice we provide is really appreciated.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says risk should be assessed “every time there are new machines, substances, and procedures, which could lead to new hazards.” An employer should carry out a risk assessment: whenever a new job brings in significant new hazards.