Fire safety is essential in every business, no matter how large or small. The implementation of fire safety measures ensures that injuries to workers and property damage are kept to a minimum or prevented entirely in the case of a fire. Fire safety is the responsibility of the employer. Fire Risk Assessments are required under current regulations for all commercial buildings, and they must be completed by the owners and occupiers of such buildings. Therefore, fire Risk Assessments must be carried out under the Fire Services Act of 1981 and the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005, respectively. The failure to address or take into consideration fire hazards is inherently dangerous. There is a risk of catastrophic consequences, including losing life and significant damage to business property where fire risk assessments are not completed or are completed by a person who is not competent to do so.
Before we complete a PAS 79-2020 Fire Risk Assessment, we need to do some preparatory work. This mainly involves gathering information before conducting an on-site assessment of the premises. Phoenix STS have qualified and experienced Fire Safety Consultants to help you with your Fire Risk Assessment. Our fire safety consultant will visit your workplace, review your fire safety documentation and organisational arrangements.
We will complete a Fire Risk Assessment considering the occupancy type, activities in the building, building layout, equipment, and processes, including arrangements for occupants at risk should a fire occur. Phoenix STS is a leading fire risk assessment provider in Ireland with a countrywide service. Due to our decades-long experience in the fire, health and safety sector, we have aided small, medium, and big enterprises and organisations in formulating fire risk assessments, including hospitality, transportation, entertainment, manufacturing, and healthcare premises, PAS 79-2020 Fire Risk Assessment meets the requirements set out in HIQA January 2021 “Fire Safety Handbook a Guide for Providers and Staff of Designated Centres”, where it states, “The report should describe the actions taken by the provider and managers to manage identified risks. The report should also record the measures being implemented to eliminate or control the identified risks. The risk assessment should be carried out to a recognised standard such as PAS 79, which your competent fire safety professional can advise you on”.
It is estimated that over 90% of workplace fires in Ireland are caused by human error. Further investigation indicates that, of the many enterprises that have been affected by a fire, up to 80% of them do not return to normal operations. The devastating consequences of fire cannot be overlooked: people, structures, lives, and livelihoods may all be lost. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 include employers’ need to have fire safety risk assessments that identify fire hazards, with a systematic evaluation of threats and vulnerabilities to determine whether a risk of harm to workers or the general public exists.
In addition to performing Fire Risk Assessments, Phoenix STS will provide recommendations on additional measures necessary to ensure compliance with fire safety legislation. We can also help you develop your emergency response and evacuation plan, train your fire managers, fire marshals/fire wardens, complete fire drills and set up your fire register. In addition, Phoenix STS carries professional indemnity insurance to provide fire safety consultancy services.
The information included in our Fire Safety Risk Assessment report will help managers guide their actions. It will also make the client feel more confident in making their own decisions moving forward. The assessment clearly and quickly identifies areas of compliance and non-compliance. It gives solutions to these problem areas when required to fulfil both best practices and current regulations.
Steps to Fire Risk Assessments;
- The first step of a fire risk assessment is to identify the fire hazards in your workplace
- Identify the people at risk
- Review means of escape routes
- Assess availability of suitable evacuation equipment
- Review smoke control systems
- Review internal and external fire spread risks
- Review the storage’s and use of flammable, explosive or potentially explosive materials
- Review fire detection & alarm systems
- Review emergency lighting (escape lighting)
- Review fire-fighting equipment
- Review fire safety signage and evacuation plans
- Review emergency plans and fire safety register
- Review access and facilities for the fire service
- Review fire safety management system
- Review employee fire safety training
- Evaluate the hazards and risks
- Record our findings
- Prepare a fire safety report with clear recommendations
On completion of the fire safety assessments, you will be presented with a report. This report will highlight non-compliance with building regulations or fire safety legislation. Also, highlight where fire safety training is required to ensure compliance, including a prioritised action plan for implementation to ensure compliance with fire safety legislation (and in the case of healthcare premises requirements set out by the regulator HIQA & Mental Health Commission), guidance, and best practice.
How do we Complete the Fire Risk Assessment?
- When our assessor arrives on-site, they will first go through the process outlining the procedure for the assessment.
- Review documentation available to demonstrate fire compliance regulations are being met; this process typically takes between one and a half and two hours.
- We would typically request the facilities manager, fire safety manager and/or the lead fire warden present for this element. Or the facilities manager, fire safety manager (person in charge) to be present for this element in healthcare premises.
- We then move to inspect the building; upon completion of the inspection, we meet with the relevant management team and summarise the findings.
- Although this inspection is ordinarily visual non-intrusive, the outcome may lead to a more in-depth analysis of fire risks identified during this process.
- Our report will generally be available within 48 hours of the inspection date, excluding bank holidays and weekends.
Fire Risk Assessment (PAS 79-2000) Questionnaire
Please see below a list of questions that will assist us in completing the fire risk assessment. It is pretty standard for management not to answer all of the questions listed below; provide what information is available to you, and we will help you find the rest.