Testing, testing

SOCOTEC UK considers what documentation is now required for a fire risk assessment.

Fire risk assessments are a legal requirement to ensure the safety for occupants of any building covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, which applies to almost all buildings other than individual private homes. All businesses and organisations need to employ a Responsible Person to ensure a fire risk assessment is undertaken and reviewed periodically. It is important to have the relevant documentation so a comprehensive review can be undertaken. If maintenance is outsourced to an external facilities management company, it will need to be involved too.

What’s needed for electrical and heating systems?

You will need to demonstrate inspection, testing and maintenance records for all appliances, including:

  • fixed electrical installations inspection/test (five-yearly)
  • PAT (annual or two-yearly) depending on the item and the recommended retest date
  • heating/gas inspection – Gas Safe Certificate (annual)
  • air-conditioning/HVAC Installations inspection/test; and
  • lightning protection system inspection/testing.

What’s needed for fire safety systems and equipment?

Testing and maintenance records for your organisation need to be reviewed by the Responsible Person. These can include:

  • emergency lights (annual inspection and full duration discharge test)
  • emergency lights (monthly function testing)
  • security access door/emergency door release/manual to override devices (green boxes) (periodic/monthly)
  • held-open/auto-door release devices (release with fire alarm and device testing)   
  • fire door survey reports
  • compartmentation survey reports
  • exit route and exit door checks
  • fire alarm service inspection (six-monthly)
  • weekly fire alarm testing (including manual call point testing)
  • fire extinguishers (annual service/inspection and monthly visual inspections)
  • fire damper inspection and test (annual)
  • smoke vent system test (annual)
  • dry/wet riser inspection/testing
  • fire shutter inspection/testing
  • pressurisation system inspection/testing
  • emergency voice communication system inspection/testing
  • evacuation lift/firefighters lift inspection/testing; and
  • inspection/testing and maintenance of any other fixed fire safety systems.

What documentation or information is required before a fire risk assessment?

  • previous fire risk assessment reports
  • evidence of completion of previous deficiencies
  • fire strategy reports
  • fire engineering reports
  • fire risk appraisals of external wall construction and cladding
  • details of the Responsible Person and any fire safety management structure
  • numbers of occupants/residents during the day and night
  • details of any fire alarm monitoring arrangements via an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and staff awareness of procedure
  • records of fire drills
  • other procedures that are carried out relating to fire safety/emergency plan (procedure for day and night where applicable)
  • details of fire safety awareness training, initial induction and refresher
  • details of fire wardens/marshals’ training
  • arrangements in place for disabled people to evacuate the premises safely in the event of fire (PEEPs/GEEPs and provision/testing/maintenance of any evacuation aids)
  • any relevant policies and procedures in place such as smoking, arson prevention, portable heaters, lone worker, business continuity, salvage plans, visitors signing-in book, contractor controls or fire action plans
  • details/quantities of any dangerous substances on site and any DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002) or other risk assessments
  • asbestos survey reports
  • details of any listed building or heritage protection relevant to the premises
  • details and correspondence in relation to any visit or contact with the fire safety enforcing authority for the premises
  • details and investigation reports in relation to any recent fire incidents or recent unwanted fire alarm actuations
  • information on recent refurbishment works including the building regulation final certification; and
  • details and records relating to the co-operation and co-ordination of fire safety risk management between the client and the landlord or other tenants – if applicable (this may include testing of fire safety systems by the landlord or other tenants).

For more, visit socotec.co.uk

Image credit | iStock



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