Resist The Risk: Fire Safety Audits And Risk Assessments

12th October 2018

Alarming statistics show an increase in the number of fires and resulting fatalities, correlating to a decrease in fire safety audits*. In light of Fire Door Safety Week, Christian McCale, Senior Consultant, discusses the impact of not conducting regular fire risk assessments and audits,  and what you can do to ensure your business premises is safe.

Fire Door Safety Week, 24th September – 30th September 2018, has been raising awareness of the importance of using engineered safety devices to promote multiple lines of defence against the starting and spreading of fires (with fire doors being one of the first lines of defence).

With over 100,000 fires occurring in both domestic and non-domestic buildings each year resulting in excess of 600 deaths, the importance of maintaining fire defenses and implementing effective risk assessments and conducting regular fire safety audits is essential to ensuring that not just buildings and assets are protected, but crucially our teams and building occupants are protected from the risks of fire.

What Is a Fire Safety Audit?

A Fire Safety Audit is an in-depth examination of non-residential commercial buildings to determine the management of the property with regards to fire safety.

Fire Safety Audits are usually pre-arranged by the person responsible for the building in order to be compliant with regulations. However, inspections can be unannounced in cases where an issue has been reported or a complaint has been made. In the case that an audit is unannounced, the inspection will be conducted by an HSE inspector and the building owner will be billed for the audit if any issues are discovered.

The in-depth examination, undertaken by the fire safety inspector, includes an assessment of the current relevant documents by certified fire safety inspectors.

Documents you may be required to present during an audit include:

Often, during the audit, the fire safety inspector may speak to the building occupants and employees to ascertain their fire safety awareness levels and to assess whether or not an effective, regular fire safety evacuation and safety system are in place.

What Are The Fire Regulations?

Employers, building owners, duty holders and anyone who is responsible for the safety and well being of occupants within any commercial building must abide by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to ensure the safety of employees and visitors.

Do Fire Regulations Need Reviewing?

In May 2018 Dame Judith Hackitt published an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (commissioned following the Grenfell Tower tragedy), describing the need for regulatory reform after uncovering flaws within the current system. Dame Judith emphasised the need for a radical rethink of how the systems work and implore the need for:

  • Effective audit trails and evidence tracking.
  • Reviews on manufacturers Quality Assurance specifications relating to engineered safety devices.
  • Simplicity in regulations and guidance to make them more accessible to remove potential misunderstanding/misinterpretation.
  • Clarity on roles, responsibilities, and accountability.
  • Enforced regulatory oversight with higher penalties to act as a deterrent.

During the IOSH conference in September 2018, Dame Judith addressed delegates stating that a significant culture change was imperative within the construction industry stating:

“When I looked from the outside into standards in the built environment, what I encountered was truly shocking. The system for fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings was weak and ineffective.”

Preventative Measures Save Lives

Where fire safety is concerned, prevention and preparation are paramount in protecting teams, employees and visitors to your buildings and sites. Resisting cost cutting exercises that impeach the quality and maintenance of safety devices whilst encouraging regular cohesive fire risk assessments and training will not only protect your property but will also protect your organisation from backlash off the back of a fire incident.

Want To Know More About Fire Risk Assessments?

Find out more information from Lucion Services and learn about:

  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • Fire Safety Awareness
  • Fire Safety Training
  • Fire Marshall Training
  • Employer’s Legal Obligations

Discover more here:

Fire Safety Audits

More Information

*Statistics According To Building Talk: Fire Door Safety Week With Abloy UK:

Dame Judith Hackitt: Independent Review Of Building Regulations And Fire Safety:

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:

Lucion Services: Fire Risk Assessment And Training:

Lucion Services: Fire Safety Awareness Training:

IOSH: Impossible To Rule Out Another Grenfell – Fire Review Author:

Fire Door Alliance: Best Practice Guide:

Fire Door Safety: Toolkit Downloads:

Related Articles

View all articles ›
Christmas Operational Hours

Christmas Operational Hours

12th December 2018

Please be aware that all of our offices will be closed for business over the Christmas period from 5pm on Monday 24th December 2018 and will reopen on Wednesday 2nd January 2019 at 8.30am (with the exception of our Scotland office which will reopen on Thursday 3rd January 2019). Should you have a query during […]

Chesterfield College Takes Positive Step In Protection: Asbestos QR Code

Chesterfield College Takes Positive Step In Protection: Asbestos QR Code

4th December 2018

A leading further education college has become the first in the country to utilise a specialist new labelling system for the fast and convenient identification of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in its buildings.

Safeguarding is Paramount: Asbestos QR Code Reduces Risks Of Exposure

Safeguarding is Paramount: Asbestos QR Code Reduces Risks Of Exposure

29th November 2018

Over 15 years of experience as a group of risk management companies with a strong reputation as risk management software pioneers and the creators of the widely used innovative risk management software platform NexGen, Lucion Services have continued to develop and implement the use of risk and asbestos QR Codes in conjunction or replacing traditional […]

Largest UK Asbestos Management Conference Brings New Knowledge To The Industry: Asbestos The Truth 2018.

Largest UK Asbestos Management Conference Brings New Knowledge To The Industry: Asbestos The Truth 2018.

18th November 2018

Asbestos and safety management industry representatives gathered together in late October 2018 to gain knowledge about the latest developments in asbestos management. From learning about how to better manage contracts and implementing effective risk management strategies to new innovative 3D facilities management software, the conference brought new light and insight into how to effectively manage […]