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SSR: Monitoring and Auditing

The page below lists the main Safety, Security and Resilience assessment forms for use in auditing and monitoring.




Fire Risk Assessment

This guidance note takes you through the Fire Risk Assessments (FRA) process in the form of a flow chart and action list. The complexity of the assessment will be determined by the hazards associated with the work of the unit or ESS team. You may wish to design your own fire risk assessment form to address your own needs. Where units or ESS teams are situated in premises controlled by a host institution it is possible that a fire risk assessment has been completed. Directors and ESS team leaders should confirm that that this is the case and obtain copies of results. If this is not the case then a fire risk assessment should be carried out. This guidance note should be read in conjunction with the accompanying guidance note on fire safety management.


The Fire Risk Assessment Process


It is important that you carry out your fire risk assessment in a practical and systematic way. It must take the whole of the work area into account, including outdoor locations and any rooms that are rarely used. For small establishments it may be possible to assess the workplace as a whole but for larger establishments it maybe helpful to divide the assessment into a series of natural boundaries, by floor, laboratories, offices etc. Do not forget to include corridors, stairwells and outside areas. Staff should be consulted during this exercise. The assessment process is as follows:


  • Appoint those who will carry out the assessment.
  • Collect all relevant documentation, e.g., plans and drawings showing fire-fighting equipment, fire certificate, or previous assessments and include Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that address possible fire hazards.
  • Carry out the fire risk assessment by visiting all parts of the establishment (see chart below).
  • Compile the report and act on findings.
  • Review annually or when changes to circumstances dictate.


Fire risk Assessment Flow Chart

Step 1

Identify Hazards

  • Sources of ignition
  • Sources of fuel

Work processes

Step 2

Identify the location of people at significant risk in the case of fire

Step 3

Evaluate the risks

Are existing fire safety measures adequate?

  • Control of ignition/sources of fuel
  • Fire detection and warning
  • Means of escape
  • Means of fire fighting
  • Maintenance of fire precautions

Fire safety training of employees

Step 4

Record findings and recommendations and report to senior management/safety committee

  • Prepare an emergency plan

Inform, instruct and train staff in fire precaution

Step 5

Keep assessments under review

Revise if situation changes  


Fire risk assessments may be carried out in two stages; an initial assessment to determine the nature of the hazards followed by a more detailed assessment if significant fire risks or deficiencies are identified.

Initial Assessment

An initial assessment will determine the appropriateness of the present fire prevention, detection and fire evacuation procedure. It should consider:

  • The work practices and associated fire hazards.
  • The adequacy of fire detection system.
  • That the fire alarm system is working properly and that it can be heard in all areas.
  • That the fire evacuation procedure is understood.
  • That emergency exit routes and exits themselves are kept clear at all times and that they lead to a place of safety.
  • That the fire fighting equipment is adequate and effective.

The initial assessment will also consider the requirement and provision of competent persons for that Unit or ESS team.

Comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment

Should the initial fire risk assessment identify areas of concern then a more comprehensive assessment must be undertaken. The following checklist is an example of a comprehensive fire risk assessment and covers all working situations. Some sections may not be applicable.

Safety Inspection Checklist


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