Fire Risk Assessments, Consultancy & Fire Warden Training

By: Healthy Buildings International  05/12/2011
Keywords: risk assessment, Building Regulations

Fire Consultancy & Training

Each year over 40,000 fires occur in non-domestic buildings and over 69,000 fires in dwelling premises resulting in over 600 tragic deaths.  Millions are lost from damage to property, loss of business, fines, compensation claims and increased insurance premiums. 

New Fire Safety Legislation for Northern Ireland

Part 3 of the Fire and Rescue Services (NI) Order 2006 and relevant Schedules will come into effect on 15th November 2010 together with associated the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

The new legislation will create a single regime replacing the Fire Services (NI) Order 1984 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 2001 and bring Northern Ireland into line with England, Wales and Scotland.

The new legislation will apply to virtually all premises with the exception of private dwellings. It will:

  • Create a regime based on Risk Assessment, Fire Prevention and Mitigation measures
  • Require that Fire Safety facilities and equipment are maintained.
  • Impose a duty to maintain those Fire Precautions which are provided under the Building Regulations for the use and protection of the Fire Service.

HBI’s Fire Risk Assessment

The HBI fire risk assessment has been developed in conjunction with PAS79 and related British Standards. It is designed to minimize the risk to life and covers the following fire safety issues including a comperhensive & detailed written document covering the:

  • Identification of combustible loading
  • Identification of ignition sources
  • Identification of oxygen sources
  • Means of escape
  • Fire detection and communication
  • Fire fighting equipment
  • Structural precautions
  • Fire prevention and management including provision of relevant instruction and training
  • Fire brigade access
  • Maintaining relevant records
  • Recommendations, as necessary, to achieve satisfactory fire safety standards.

In summary, anyone who has control to any extent of any premises has a duty to ensure that those using or occupying the premises are safe from harm caused by fire. This is achieved by carrying out a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment on their property and implementing the findings. This must be conducted by a competent person and be reviewed on a regular basis or when change occurs.
A definition of ‘competent person’ is specified in the new Fire Safety Regulations.  

HBI Fire Risk Assessors are competent as defined within the legislative interpretation, in terms of training, qualifications, knowledge and experience.

Businesses should understand that in addition to an initial assessment, the person(s) responsible must provide an effective on-going management of the fire safety process to minimize the risk to life and with the associated benefits of avoiding huge finanical costs through the loss of the premises and/or litigation.

Enforcement

The Fire Service has powers to enforce the Regulations, through the issue of notices and by criminal prosecution, which if successful would result in a fine, imprisonment or both.

Specialist Fire Consultancy Services

HBI can also provide consultancy and advice on the following:

(1) Pre-building control submissions

HBI can assess the plans of a building scheme prior to submission and, in liaison with Building Control if necessary, can give assurance that the identified fire precautions will receive approval from Building Control thus allowing the scheme to proceed prior to receipt of approval.

(2) Representation and advice in the event of difficulties with the regulatory authorities,  for example when a Notice has been issued by the Fire service under the new Regulations.

In the event of difficulties with the regulatory authorities e.g. Building Control or the Fire and Rescue Service regarding details of a proposed building scheme, it is often helpful to have an experienced third party assess the proposals and recommend an appropriate way forward.

(3) Assessment of the effect of building or renovation works on an existing building

Any building programme in an existing building will have implications on the fire safety of the occupants of the building while the works are on-going. It is a legal requirement that the fire risk to occupants of a building is assessed and kept under review. This is particularly important during building or renovation works which are likely to affect the fire safety provisions in a building e.g. fire alarms, means of escape, fire risk etc. during the works. HBI can assess the fire risk to occupants of the building and make recommendations on appropriate ways to ensure that the fire safety provisions remain satisfactory during any building or renovation works.

(4) Implementation of recommendations from a Fire Risk Assessment

HBI is not a provider of remedial action services, we are properly qualified and experienced to oversee the work to be carried out by other contractors to ensure a satisfactory service. Plus HBI can also provide training in a range of fire safety issues either at the place of employment or at HBI’s dedicated training facility in Belfast.

(5) Fire safety training

Fire Safety Awareness Training

HBI can provide training in basic Fire Safety Awareness at a level relevant to the requirements of the occupancy. This training is available as an induction, initial or renewal and can be provided at the place of employment or at HBI’s dedicated training facility in Belfast.

 Fire Warden and Key person Training

In addition to Fire Safety Awareness training there is a requirement for the training of those people who are responsible for specific fire safety issues such as Fire Wardens, people in charge of departments with specific fire safety difficulties or risks and people who need advice on a specific issue.  This training is available as an induction, initial or renewal and can be provided at the place of employment or at HBI’s dedicated training facility in Belfast.

Means of Escape and Fire Evacuation Planning

Fire precaution legislation requires all employers to establish appropriate fire evacuation procedures and to carry out fire drills. With extensive experience in preparing evacuation strategies, HBI offer services in the following areas:- evacuation planning for small premises, planning/procedure policies with training workshops for larger premises, evacuation of people with disabilities and use of fire evacuation lifts.

Data at your Fingertips

We understand how important it is to have access to up-to-date information. With HBI, you will have 24/7 secure on-line access to your Fire Risk Assessment report through our MBR Risk Management System.  This report will highlight any actions that need to be taken.

Keywords: Building Regulations, risk assessment

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