Frequently Asked Fire Safety Questions
With over 20 years’ fire safety and fire risk management experience, there are few things we haven’t been asked!
Here are some of the questions we’re asked most often. We hope you find them helpful.
If there’s anything at all you would like to ask us about any aspect of fire safety compliance for your premises, please get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.
Or if there are any other questions and answers you would like to see here, please let us know.
1. Is a Fire Risk Assessment a legal requirement?
If you employ 5 or more staff, run a business that requires a licence (such as an entertainments licence or an HMO) you are legally required to have a Fire Risk Assessment carried out for your premises. Your insurance provider may also wish to see a copy of your assessment.
2. Which types of premises need a Fire Risk Assessment?
A Fire Risk Assessment is required for most premises other than private dwellings: examples include businesses, houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs), schools, nurseries, offices, factories, restaurants, cafés, shops, places of worship, cinemas, theatres, hotels, hospitals, guest-houses, pubs, care-homes, even events.
3. How often should a Fire Risk Assessment be carried out?
Normally, an assessment should be completed at least annually. A review of assessment must take place after a fire, a near miss or when the risk has changed (e.g. through a change in a work process, a large change of staff or when renovation works are planned).
4. What are the benefits of a Fire Risk Assessment?
As well as the legal compliance aspect of having a Fire Risk Assessment carried out,
occupant safety is the first and foremost benefit of good fire safety and fire risk management. Add to this the financial impact of a fire on your premises, including lost productivity, staff costs, even reputational damage.
5. What is the difference between a Fire Risk Audit and a Fire Risk Assessment?
A Fire Risk Assessment is an evaluation of the risk to life from a fire and the action points to reduce life risk. A Fire Risk Audit is an official check, carried out by the NI Fire & Rescue Service, that your premises comply with Northern Ireland fire safety regulations.
6. Why should I use Fire Risk Assessments NI?
All our fire risk assessors have at least 15 years’ operational fire service experience, with at least another 10 years in fire safety. We provide simple and effective fire safety advice with 12 months on-going support at no extra cost. Check out our reviews on Google and on our Testimonials page.
7. What is 3rd party accreditation?
This is when a fire risk assessor has undergone an independent assessment of knowledge, understanding and training in life safety risk assessments. All Fire Risk Assessments NI assessors have completed this with The Institution of fire engineers (IFE). The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), Northern Ireland’s independent health and social care regulator, requires fire risk assessors to hold this accreditation in order to carry out assessments of certain types of premises, such as residential care homes.
8. What is the fire safety legislation for Northern Ireland?
Fire and Rescue Services Order (NI) 2006 and the Fire Safety Regulations (NI) 2010 are the two pieces of fire safety legislation in Northern Ireland. Under this legislation is the requirement to complete and to review a Fire Risk Assessment if an employer has five or more employees. For further information please see:
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 forms another important piece of legislation in Northern Ireland. Under this legislation falls the requirement to complete ‘suitable and sufficient risk assessments’ for employees and for those persons not in employment but who may be at risk from the work or actions of the business. Also under this legislation is the requirement for ‘Co-operation and co-ordination’ for business buildings which have multi-occupancy tenants. This section highlights the requirement to ‘co-operate with the other employers concerned so far as is necessary to enable them to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon them by or under the relevant statutory provisions’
The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (Part E) highlights requirements for the Means of Escape (MoE) from a building and the construction to prevent fire spread and limit smoke movement;
Further guidance can be obtained from the NI Fire & Rescue Service website:
There is a large number of related legislation and British Standards – contact Fire Risk Assessments for any further advice or guidance.