This fire risk assessment was for a recycling and waste management facility in Cambridgeshire.
Description of the premises
The premises is a recycling and waste management facility. The building is a large open-plan warehouse with a mezzanine floor above the staff room. The warehouse has sliding doors at either end for lorry access for loading and unloading. There are two large bailing machines in the centre of the building. The building has an office block, two portacabins, a storage warehouse facility, an archive store, and a hazardous chemicals store.
The warehouse factory, warehouse store, offices, archive room and hazardous chemical store have been fitted with an automatic fire detection alarm system. There are ‘break glass’ points at the fire points and exits with Visual Alarm Devices (VAD) fitted in the Warehouses to warn the staff. The building has fire extinguishers at all the fire points.
Who’s potentially at risk?
40+ employees are at risk of fire, alongside the occasional visitor or contractor.
Fire safety plan of the building
A fire safety plan for the premises has been drawn up detailing the fire fighting and fire prevention measures already in place. The escape routes, the emergency lighting, the fire alarm zones and the locations of the fire assembly point are also logged. The fire emergency plan and plan drawing must be updated to include the temporary tented structure next to the offices which is used as a workshop/maintenance area. The fire safety plan should be used to train employees.
The purpose of the Fire Safety Risk Assessment
- Identify the fire hazards in the building
- Identify who might be at risk of the fire hazards
- Evaluate the risk arising from the fire hazards
- Assess whether the company’s fire safety measures are adequate, or if additional measures are necessary
- Record the findings of the risk assessment
- Provide a comprehensive action plan where measures are necessary
The scope of the Fire Safety Risk Assessment
The Fire Safety Risk Assessment is carried out to make sure the company complies with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The risk assessment is to address property protection or business continuity, but rather exclusively to assess the fire safety measures of the company. It is not business, tax, or legal advice.
Likelihood of fire definitions
Risk of fire
- Low Risk: The likelihood of a fire occurring is unlikely.
- Normal Risk: The likelihood of a fire occurring is possible due to the nature of the building, processes being carried out, or the type of occupants. Most properties fall into this category.
- High Risk: The likelihood of a fire occurring is probable due to the nature of the building; over 50 litres of flammable liquids are stored, sleeping accommodation is provided, hazardous materials, and processes are being carried out or due to the type of occupants.
Risk of harm to people
- Slight Harm: Outbreak of fire is unlikely to result in serious injury or death of any occupant.
- Moderate Harm: Outbreak of fire could result in injury of one or more occupants but is unlikely to involve multiple fatalities, other than the death of an occupant in a room in which a fire occurs.
- Extreme Harm: Serious potential for the serious injury or death of one or more occupants.
Need for action
- Trivial: No action is required.
- Tolerable: No major additional measures are required. However, there may be a need for minor improvements.
- Moderate: It is essential that efforts be made to reduce the risk. Risk reduction measures should be implemented within a limited time period.
- Substantial: Major work is required to reduce the risk. Consideration should be given to restricting the use of the building.
- Intolerable: The building should not be occupied until the risk is reduced.
Fire Safety Risk Assessment risk levels
The company’s current preventative measures are at normal risk.
With the company’s current safety measures, its employees are at slight harm.
The risk to life from fire in the building is tolerable
Fire Safety Risk Assessment review
The company should review the Fire Safety Risk Assessment regularly to make sure its fire safety measures are up to date.
There should be a comprehensive review of the assessment every year, so the responsible person should review it next in August 2023.
High priority items
- The inner-left side of the fire exit has bailed waste and flammable material covering the entirety of the fire escape route and it blocks access to the stairs. This must be cleared appropriately.
- The markings on the fire exits, fire doors, and fork routes are fading away. These must be re-marked with high-visible yellow tape.
- Vegetation behind the bale storage warehouse is blocking the fire exit door and the undergrowth is a fire hazard. These must be cleared appropriately.
- The booked electrical wiring test must be documented and logged in the logbook.
- A water supply pipe above the fire door of the bale storage warehouse must be secured with brackets.
- Two fire extinguishers need to be installed in the temporary tented area.
- The temporary tented area needs to have a fire alarm system.
- The fire alarm panel must be serviced.
Overview of medium-priority items
- A fire emergency plan must be drawn up for the temporary tented area.
- The staff must be trained in basic fire awareness and evacuation drills. It must be recorded in the logbook.
- A fire evacuation drill must be conducted every 6 months and recorded in the logbook.
- The fire alarm system should be serviced.
- The emergency light system should be regularly tested.
- The carbon dioxide fire suppression system is due a 6-month service.
- The smoke detector system is overdue service.
- The portable electrical appliances must be tested.
- The heating system in the temporary tented area must be serviced.
- The diesel fuel tank must have an environmental hazard sign on it.
- The flammable liquids store must be fitted with a flammable liquids warning sign.
- The flammable gas wire cage must be fitted with a ‘flammable gas, no smoking, no naked lights’ sign.
- A fire action notice is required at every fire point.
- The fire exit doors need a ‘fire exit, keep clear’ sign on either side.
- The broken fire extinguisher brackets must be fixed and rehung.
- The dust on the fire extinguishers must be cleaned regularly.
Overview of low-priority items
- All of the fire action notices have to contain all relevant information in permanent black marker.
Is there a fire safety logbook that tracks the following?:
- Fire alarm system? Yes.
- Emergency lighting system? Yes.
- Fire fighting equipment? No.
- Escape routes and fire doors? Yes.
- Staff training and fire drills? No.
Are the general standards of housekeeping adequate?:
- Are combustible materials separated from ignition sources? No.
- Are accumulations of combustible waste and storage avoided? No.
- Are boiler rooms and electrical intake rooms free of storage? No.
- Are combustibles appropriately stored? No.
- Is there any area where the housekeeping could be improved? Yes.