This blog post explains what to expect from fire assessment reports (PDF), and what mobile tablet software can be used to achieve the quickest results.
It also explains the fire risk assessment calculation matrix and the various building fire evacuation strategies typically used in the event of fire.
The Fire Reform Order 2005 replaces the 40 year old fire certification scheme. It is now the duty of the 'responsible person' for the premises to ensure the occupants are safe from the effects of fire as far as practicable.
This does not imply a lesser responsibility for the safety of the occupant of the premises; it is almost certain that for premises which required a fire certificate prior to January 2006, similar measures will be required under the Fire Reform Order 2005.
The Fire Reform Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic premises, including any voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes. For domestic premises this assessment had been undertaken in accordance with The Housing Act 2004 and relevant building regulations.
A fire risk assessment is an organised and methodical look at your premises. The fire risk assessment procedure identifies the activities carried out at the premises and assesses the likelihood of a fire starting.
The aim of a fire risk assessment is to:
Here is a fire risk assessment report sample
The easiest way you to catch up on your fire inspection backlogs is to carry out fire inspection checklists on your mobile devices such as Android tables or phones.
This tablet software allows you to complete regular fire prevention inspections quickly onsite and then produce comprehensive fire inspection reports almost instantly back at base.
If you are not carrying out inspections yourself you should expect your service provider to be using the very latest technology to keep costs down.
It is common for an assessor to use a matrix for calculating risk in their FRA report, an example is shown below.
A definition of the 'Likelihood' terms used in the risk matrix are as follows:
The definition of the 'Consequences' terms used in the risk matrix are as follows:
The definition of the actions used for the overall fire risk rating are as follows:
This strategy is appropriate for many types of care home, normally small premises where residents can escape quickly and immediately to a place of total safety in open air and where it may be expected that all people inside are able to (and will) evacuate quickly to outside the building to a place of total safety.
This strategy may also be appropriate in more complex premises for visitors, wakeful mobile residents in day rooms and ancillary staff not required to assist with evacuation of other residents.
Delayed evacuation is where occupants remain in their fire protected rooms or refuges until the danger has passed or until they can be taken to a place of total safety. It is particularly relevant to premises providing residential care facilities. Some residents may be permanently or temporarily confined to bed, or attached to equipment or treatment devices, or they may be breathing oxygen-enhanced air.
Progressive horizontal evacuation techniques allows evacuation to be made by horizontal escape to adjoining fire compartments. The aim is to provide a place of 'reasonable safety' within a short distance. This system is necessary where visitors or, for example, residents in a residential care home are dependent on staff to assist their escape and is commonly used in hospitals as their primary evacuation method particularly where patients must remain in bed.
Phased evacuation is a system of evacuation in which different parts of the premises are evacuated in a controlled sequence of phases, those parts of the premises expected to be at greatest risk being evacuated first.
Two-Stage Evacuation provides an alarm to staff, which allows for the incident to be investigated before a full evacuation takes place. It is dependent on having an addressable fire alarm system which will indicate at the panel where the alarm has originated from. If a fire is discovered or there is no obvious indication of a cause for a false alarm, a second alarm is activated and the remainder of the building must be totally evacuated. This may be used in shops or nightclubs.