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Managing fire safety

What are the fire laws in Northern Ireland and how do they affect me?

Under the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and associated regulations workplaces will no longer need a fire certificate but must have a 'suitable and sufficient' risk assessment in place that includes all matters relating to fire safety. Employers have a legal duty under the current legislation to carry out a fire risk assessment and report the findings to their employees.

For further information on fire safety legislation please click on the following link to visit the relevant pages of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service website:

Click here to link to the NIFRS legislation pages

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What are my responsibilities?

If you are an employer or you own premises, you have a legal duty to make sure that your workplace or premises and the people who work or visit there are kept safe from fire and its effects.

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How can I manage fire safety in my workplace?

You can manage fire safety in your workplace by:

  1. Carrying out a fire safety risk assessment;
  2. Using the risk assessment to find out who might be especially at risk if there was a fire;
  3. Providing and maintaining the necessary fire precautions to protect the people who use your workplace; and
  4. Providing information, instructions and training to your employees about the fire precautions in your workplace.

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What is a fire safety risk assessment?

Carrying out a fire risk assessment simply means looking at your work activities and workplace and deciding whether there is the potential for fire to occur and cause harm to people in and around the premises, then deciding whether you have taken enough precautions or need to do more to prevent the harm.

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How do I carry out a fire safety risk assessment?

There are five simple steps to carrying out a fire safety risk assessment:

Step 1     Identify possible fire hazards in your workplace

Step 2     Decide who might be harmed and how

Step 3     Evaluate the risks and decide on the precautions

Step 4     Record what you find, tell your employees and make the necessary improvements

Step 5     Review your risk assessment and update it if necessary

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Do I need to record my fire safety risk assessment?

If you have five or more employees, or require a license or registration, you must record the significant findings of the risk assessment and any actions you have taken to remove or reduce the risk.

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What information should I give to my employees and others?

You should provide clear, appropriate information and instruction (and training where necessary) to your employees and anyone else working on your premises in relation to any risks identified and precautions or safety measures provided.

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Is there any guidance to help me carry out a fire safety risk assessment?

Managing Fire Safety in the Workplace (1.97MB) pub 08/11

This booklet explains how employers can reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and keep within the law. It provides a step-by-step guide to carrying out a fire safety risk assessment and includes a number of useful fire safety templates. This updated publication now also reflects the current fire regulations which came into force on 15th November 2010.

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Where can I find a worked example of a fire safety risk assessment?

Example Fire Risk Assessment (228KB) pub 08/11

This example fire risk assessment shows how a small company might approach fire risk assessment within their work. This example can be used as a guide when thinking about fire safety precautions in your own business.

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Where can I find a fire safety risk assessment template?

Fire Risk Assessment Template (116KB) pub 05/11

This blank template can be used to record your own fire risk assessment.

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Are there any other templates to help me?

You can use the following templates to check your fire safety systems, equipment and procedures:

Fire drill record template (38.5KB)

Fire alarm inspection and check template (44KB)

Smoke alarm inspection and check template (38KB)

Firefighting equipment location check template (35KB)

Firefighting equipment inspection and check template (43.5KB)

Fire door inspection template (39KB)

Stairways and corridors inspection template (44KB)

Emergency lighting inspection and check template (37.5KB)

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