12 January 2015

Fire safety legislation for existing buildings (which applies to virtually all non-domestic premises) requires that the fire precautions in the premises be based on a fire risk assessment which, therefore, must be carried out. This applies even to a small shop occupied by a single self-employed person. The requirement also applies to the common parts of blocks of flats in England and Wales (but not Scotland and NI).

Confusion sometimes arises because the findings of the Fire Risk Assessment need not be recorded if the employer (or other duty holder) does not employ 5 or more persons. Never the less, the Fire Risk Assessment must be carried out. The findings must also be recorded in the case of premises for which legislation requires licensing or registration. A Fire & Rescue Authority may also require this in an alterations notice, though such notices are not that common. It might be regarded as best practice, regardless of any legal obligation to do so.