It is essential to carry out a fire risk assessment. When a building or facility is being constructed the same should be continuously reviewed, evaluated as well as updated. Also, it assists in recognising and measuring hazards and risks associated with fire. Therefore, the organisation can decide whether the identified risks are acceptable or additional control measures are required.

It could be a legal requirement in some countries and obviously a wise and good business practice.

A well trained professional who has good experience and knowledge of fire safety should carry out the fire risk assessment.

A fire risk assessment follows the 5 steps of a standard risk assessment.

1. Identify the hazards
  • oxygen sources;
  • fuel sources; and
  • ignition sources
Decreasing ignition sources:
It is essential to have a ‘no smoking’ sign in every workplace. Any designated outdoor location where smoking cigarettes are allowed must be of a low fire risk design. In addition, they must be kept away from any flammable or combustible products and supplied with metal ashtrays full of sand.
Bring the smoking regulations to the focus of all employees as well as site visitors. Show the appropriate indications, specifically in common areas such as canteens as well as site access points.
Plant and Equipment
Also, consideration should be offered to the storage space of plant and tools concerning fire threat. Select plant, both electrical and engine driven, to prevent it from getting too hot throughout its usage, particularly in dirty conditions.
Preserve all plant appropriately and, specifically, air filters need to be cleaned on a regular basis in dirty conditions. Position the vents well so that the air is without combustible gases as well as vapours.
Portable fuelled generators in your home or in confined locations provide a power source for heating and other equipment. However, this can put workers at risk of serious diseases as well as death from carbon monoxide poisoning. This danger is present from the exhaust fumes of any combustion engine. Consequently,  care needs to be taken to prevent using various devices such as pressure washers, disc cutters, flooring brushes and also chainsaws.
Electrical Installations
Electrical instalments, must be developed, installed, checked and maintained by competent personnel.
Some common electric faults for fire threats include:
  • cord laid or near combustible material, frequently in roofing and also ceiling voids
  • use of flat twin as well as earth cable as expansion leads as opposed to appropriate versatile cable
  • overloading of outlets in site accommodation
Decreasing potential fuel sources:
Harmful substances can put people’s safety at risk from fire and explosion. Employers must:
  • prepare plans to take care of accidents, incidents and emergencies involving hazardous substances
  • discover what dangerous materials exist in their workplace and what the fire risks are
  • identify areas in the office where fire may take place and look out for ignition sources in those locations
  • have control measures in place to either get rid of those risks or, where this is not possible, control them
  • put controls in position to reduce the impacts of any incidents involving unsafe materials
  • ensure employees are correctly informed and educated to handle the threats from the unsafe materials
2. Identify who could be harmed and how

Identify the people affected, especially vulnerable persons, e.g. disabled, impaired mobility, hearing and vision.

3. Evaluate the risks and the adequacy of the control measures

Fire prevention: Presence of oxygen, fuel and ignition sources and their proximity to each other.

Fire protection: Control measures to prevent fires from starting and  spreading (housekeeping, hot work permits-to-work, protected electrical equipment, anti-static footwear, compartmentation, etc.)

Fire precautions:
  • means of fire / smoke detection
  • contacting the fire / rescue services and safe assembly
  • means of raising the alarm
  • ways of fighting the fire (fixed and portable fire fighting equipment such as, hoses, sprinklers, extinguishers, blankets, etc.)
  • means of escape (doors, routes, emergency lighting and signs)
Management issues:
  • emergency plan (building zones, assembly points and fire marshal / wardens)
  • staff and contractor training and instruction (including marshals / wardens, practice fire evacuation, fire awareness, etc.)
  • fire inspections (housekeeping, equipment, etc.)
  • maintenance of equipment (electrical and gas equipment, fire detection, warning, fighting, etc.)
4. Record findings and actions

Include a prioritised, allocated, dated action plan.

5. Review

If no longer valid, after significant change, or an elapse of time.