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If you own, operate in, or manage a commercial building, a building of multiple occupancy, or a block of residential flats and/or apartments, then you will already be aware of the need for health and safety inspections. But when was the last time you conducted a comprehensive fire risk assessment for the building?

Under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all buildings which fall under the aforementioned categories must be subject to a fire risk assessment, not only for the security of their business insurance but for the ongoing safety of users and residents within your building.

A fire risk assessment is designed to identify any hazards which could cause a fire in the building or property, determining the risk level and then listing any changes that can be made to minimise that risk. Using this, business and property owners can prioritise their actions in light of the risk assessment findings and establish the best methods of minimising fire risk while maximising user and resident safety.

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fire risk assessments

Protect your building with a fire and asbestos risk assessment

A fire risk assessment provides your business with the insight it needs to prioritise the ongoing safety and wellbeing of any individual who uses the property, minimising risk and ensuring that property owners tick the regulatory box as laid out by the 2005 reform.

But it’s not just fire which poses a direct and very real risk to commercial and large buildings.

Asbestos has, over the past couple of decades, become a growing cause of illness due to its hazardous fibres which, when breathed in, can lead to serious illness, and increase the risk of cancer. Any building which was constructed prior to 2000 is likely to have asbestos used as part of its insulating system due to the former immense popularity of the material – with asbestos surveys now as high priority as fire risk assessments in terms of establishing the safety of a building.

An asbestos survey will locate, identify, and test any asbestos found to establish its stability. From there, a comprehensive report will outline the need for ongoing management and regular surveys, or asbestos removal.

This, paired with a full fire risk assessment, will keep both your business insurance and your customers, residents, or users safe.

From 1 October 2023, new fire safety legislation came into effect which will impose new duties on businesses and building owners The Fire Safety Order 2005 in England and Wales applies to all non-domestic premises as well as the communal parts of residential buildings. Changes to this legislation have been introduced through the Building Safety Act 2022, and represent the next phase of the Government’s fire safety reform programme One of the changes refers to non-domestic, previously it was a requirement to have a written fire risk assessment only under certain circumstances (e.g. where the responsible Person employs five or more Persons). This will no longer be the case, and if you are a responsible person, then you will need to record both your Fire risk assessment and fire Safety arrangement in full, Regardless of the size or Purpose of the business or Premises. If you have buildings in your estate that fall under these conditions please do get in contact to discuss a plan and strategy to fulfil these requirements. Ignorance now is not a defence!

What to do next?

If you are concerned about the potential presence of asbestos in your property, have taken on a property which was built prior to 2000, or need to meet the fire risk assessment reform regulations, our fire risk assessment and asbestos survey team are here to help – with each enquiry being followed up by a consultant or surveyor visit within one working day.

For more information, please get in touch.

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