A fire risk assessment should identify:
- Possible hazards;
- Sources of ignition;
- Persons at risk of fire;
- Means of escape;
- Fire detection and alarm systems;
- Fire fighting facilities;
- Routing procedure in the event of fire;
- Any difficulties with the above – and plans to put them right.
Fire Detection & Alarm Systems BS5839 – Risk Assessment
- The ‘Fire precautions (Workplace) Regulations’ require any business employing five or more persons to hold a written ‘Fire Risk Assessment’ and ‘Emergency Plan’. This must be periodically reviewed.
- The local fire brigade can enforce compliance, and close any building that does not meet this act.
- In the event of a fire in a building without a written ‘Fire Risk Assessment’, those responsible may face fines and imprisonment, and/or private litigation.
The Law requires you to
- Complete a fire risk assessment for your work place (considering all employees, the public, disabled people and people with special needs).
- Identify and record any significant findings or persons at risk.
- Provide and maintain fire precautions.
- Provide information, instruction and training.
- Nominat e persons responsible to implement your emergency plan.
- Consult employees about the above nominations and your proposals to improve fire precautions.
- Inform other employees who may have work places in the building about any significant risks which may affect their safety and co-operate with them to reduce/control these risks.
- If you are not an employer, but control premises which contain more than one workplace, you are responsible for complying with fire regulations.
- You must establish a suitable means of contacting the emergency services.
- Your employees must co-operate to ensure the workplace is safe from fire and its effects.
Fire Risk Assessment – System Zoning Information
In order to aid identification of the source of a possible fire, the protected building should be divided into ‘zones’. When deciding on a suitable zoning scheme for a building, consideration should be given to the size, any existing fire routines, escape routes, zone accessibility, and structural fire compartmentation.
The following guide lines should be observed:
- If the total floor area of the building is less than 300sqm then the building needs only one zone, regardless of the number of storeys.
If the total floor area is greater than 300 sqm:
- The maximum area for a zone is 2000sqm.
- If a stairwell (or similar) extends beyond one floor it should be a separate zone.
- If a zone covers more than one fire compartment then the zone boundaries should follow the compartment boundaries.
- The search distance within the zone in order to ascertain the position of the fire should not exceed 60m. Remember that the use of Remote Indicator lamps may help to reduce the distance traveled.
- If a building is divided between occupiers, zones must not be shared between them.
These are some of the guidelines provided by Rafiki(intelligent fire technology) – check out the Rafiki series of industrial/commercial fire alarm systems (like the Rafiki Twinflex), found at The Conventional and Analogue Fire Alarms. For more details about the fire alarms, visit the Fire-Detect website(see a list of articles about the fire alarms here and here).