Assessing fire risks in the workplace: what to look out for

Every business operating in the UK is required to carry out a fire risk assessment, to identify, assess and remove risks in order to protect employees and members of the public. You can either hire a professional fire risk assessment consultant to carry it out for you, or you can do it yourself provided you are thorough in your approach and have all the right information at your disposal.

The first step of a fire risk assessment is to identify and assess hazards, which could include:

  • Anything that can ignite a fire – naked flames, cookers, electric heaters and other electrical equipment
  • Anything that can burn – flammable products such as textiles, paper waste or display materials
  • Sources of oxygen that can feed a fire and intensify it –“ medical products, commercial oxygen supplies or air conditioning units.

Once you have identified the hazards and taken steps to minimise, manage or eliminate them, you can go even further and aim to pro-actively prevent fire. This could include switching to new, less-flammable materials, upgrading fire doors to effectively contain a fire, or even changing heating the heating plan in your office so that electric heaters are not needed.