Anyone can complete a Fire Risk Assessment but the key wording in the Fire Safety Order is “any competent person” can complete a Fire Risk Assessment. We have seen many different attitudes to this over the last 20 years. In one case we have seen a large retail chain simply asking their store manager to walk around the store and complete a Fire Risk Assessment by ticking boxes on an Excel spreadsheet!
A competent Fire Risk Assessor needs to have the ability to identify Fire Safety Risks. Can the person you are entrusting with this key task have the ability to know if a Fire Door is in a good state of repair? Can they identify if the protected escape routes are guarded against the ingress of smoke to regulate the distance people have to travel before, they reach an exit? With the best will in the world, even your most diligent employee would give a best guess but that may not be enough to ensure everyone can get out safely from a burning building.
This is where Action for Children were when we met, they had a desire to remove that burden of competency from their internal staff and looked to Riskmonitor to provide consistency and competency across their nationwide portfolio of over 400 buildings.
Riskmonitor’s assessors have all been through a robust recruitment process where they have to demonstrate their competency. In line with our BAFE accreditation every assessor has to submit a CV outlining their relevant experience in Fire Safety, in nearly 90% of cases all our assessors have served in excess of 30 years in various brigades throughout the country and must have spent time in Business Fire Safety. They then submit two previous risk assessments that they have undertaken for assessment and auditing by our internal validators. Finally, they are interviewed face to face and then shadowed and audited completing an actual fire risk assessment on site by our BAFE scheme manager or Head of Fire Safety. All this before they are let loose!
Part of this process identifies what skills they have and that is filed on our skills matrix so our operations team can easily match the right assessor with the right skills to the right job.
Ian Stacey, Head of Health and Safety for Action for children can tell you more