The Cost of a Fire Risk Assessment

Cost of a Fire Risk Assessment

Fire risk assessments are not only required as a matter of law, they have become crucial in the modern age where properties and people are squeezed tight in urban spaces.

In this article, we will review how fire risk assessments have become routine in the UK, how to abide by the requirements and the cost of a fire risk assessment.

Why is a Fire Risk Assessment Important?

A fire risk assessment is a vital part of maintaining a safe workplace and protect people and commerce in the vicinity of a business. It is also a legal requirement for any business that cannot be classified as a private home.

In the UK, the Home Office requires that any business (with a license under enactment in force) whose premises are occupied by more than 5 people will need to perform regular assessments and maintain a written record which must be produced to the authorities on demand.

Any business owner and/or manager bears the primary responsibility (the “responsible person”) and would be in trouble if they were not compliant. Violations could lead to a stiff fine and even jail time for those shirking their duties in this regard.

There is a 5-step checklist that provides guidance on the necessary steps to be followed:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-5-step-checklist

Let’s review what the cost of fire risk assessment should be in a typical scenario.

The Typical Costs of Hiring a Consultant to do a Fire Risk Assessment

There are a few things that a fire risk assessment must cover, including:

  • Identifying fire hazards
  • Identifying the people who would be at risk
  • Evaluating the risks, prior to removing (or at least reducing) them
  • Documenting the findings, then preparing plans to address emergencies and training the workforce on how to adhere to the same
  • Regularly reviewing and continuing the updating of the fire risk assessments

Who Performs Fire Risk Assessments?

For some businesses, the fire risk assessment may be done by the “responsible person” (e.g. owner or manager) or a designated person or team. However, this may not be possible in certain situations, where the owner/manager may not feel qualified to handle the task and/or the task may be too complicated.

Businesses with certain characteristics could require help from seasoned consultants. For example:

  • Large complex businesses with substantial premises
  • Heritage buildings
  • Small or medium sized business that may not have people suited for the job inhouse

Which Consultants can you Hire?

If the responsible person – or the duty holder, as the person may be known – need to hire an outside consultant, the following brochure from the UK government provides guidance about the type of “experts” that could be hired:

https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/media/5496/fsf_guide_october_20.pdf

To gauge competency, two aspects of the consultant’s background can be probed:

  • The consultants should be part of Professional Body Registration schemes, and
  • Certified for this specific activity by a UKAS accredited agency

Additionally, getting detailed background information, proof of prior work in your specific industry and references are all prudent steps to take.

What is the Cost of a Fire Risk Assessment

Potential Costs of a Fire Risk Assessment

A lone fire risk assessment can cost under £200. However, given the ongoing nature of the requirement, and especially if the assessment is complex, such an assessment may not suffice in the face of official scrutiny.

A fire risk assessment by a certified consultant can cost anywhere from £200 to more than £1,200 according to industry publications. Where a specific assessment can end up depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Physical area of the premises to be assessed – includes factors such as the number of buildings, the number of floors within each building, the total size (floor area, common areas, basements etc.) to be assessed etc.
  • Other characteristics of the premises – such as the usage of the buildings and the overall risk level (infrastructural risks etc.) of the buildings.
  • The characteristics of the occupants, including the number of occupants during office hours and the number who sleep in the building. Any specific vulnerability specific to occupants (e.g. age or disabilities) must also be considered.

Another important consideration is the type of fire risk assessment required, as mentioned at the outset. The cost of a fire risk assessment by a branded fire protection equipment manager, performed on premises/businesses that need significant work and equipment to remove or reduce fire risks, will likely run a business owner towards the high-end figures.

There are certain complex fire risk assessments that could cost companies that do not prepare some groundwork tens of thousands of pounds. There are ways to prevent those cost overruns.

Primary Risk Manager Logo

How Primary Risk Manager can Reduce Costs and Save Time

The Primary Risk Manager is a certified tool that is available from a company with over 20 years of experience in conducting safety audits in the UK market. They are ISO 9001 certified, and specifically geared towards helping companies help themselves.

The goal of the team supporting and implementing the Primary Risk Management software on behalf of a client is simple – to save the client time, money and headaches. The way to accomplish this and avoid any unanticipated cost overruns or unpleasant surprises is to prepare businesses prior to ever having to hire consultants to do their fire risk assessment.

A cornerstone of the Primary Risk Manager team’s approach is to help their clients perform a thorough due diligence in anticipation of Primary Authority Scheme requirements. These span not only the best practices in operational governance, but utilise a well-developed approach to risk management with “joined up” systems and a service backed approach.

The Primary Risk Manager tool has become even more potent as a time and money saving tool post the 2012 health and safety (fees) regulations, where businesses can have to pay significant fees and/or fines without being able to comply on codes and keep updating their systems. The impact could be significant in terms of saving fees that could range from £750 to several thousands of pounds.

The consultant team has saved clients time and money over and over again due to their commitment not only to the organisation being assessed but a willingness to help the clients take over initial aspects of detailed due diligence and then helping them engage with other key stakeholders including the authorities who would inspect and sign off on the reports.

Learn more about Primary Risk Manager

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Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

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Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

John Keen
Apart from work John enjoys sports (football, karate & walking) as well as travel & spending time with friends & grandchildren.

Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

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