Here are a sample of frequently asked questions.
Are we required by law to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment?
Yes. All workplaces and non domestic premises under Section 53 and 54 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 requires the employer or person with control of the building (the dutyholder) to ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out.
Who is the duty holder?
The dutyholder may be the employer, owner, proprietor, licence holder, landlord, committee member, board member, trust member or a person acting as a property agent. The duty holder could also be defined as, the person in charge of the day to day running of the company or premises.
Can we carry out the Fire Risk Assessment ourselves?
Yes. If the person is competent to do so then he or she can. For example does the competent person have the experience or background in fire risk assessment or have they sufficient knowledge or qualification. If the answer is yes then why not.
If the answer is no then there are various guides, advice, information and books written on the subject that could take the nominated person up to a level of confidence to give the fire risk assessor the competence in theory to carry out the Fire Safety Risk Assessment.
There is also Scottish Government free fire risk assessment templates and fire risk assessment examples provided at http://www.firescotland.org providing help for the novice and experienced fire risk assessor.
What if we do not have an available competent member of staff whom is willing to put their name to a Fire Risk Assessment or we do not have either the money or time to spend on the procedure or training to enable us to carry out our duties?
You may consider outsourcing the Fire Risk Assessment to a competent fire risk assessor. Remember if you do not carry out a Fire risk Assessment then in the eyes of the law you are deemed guilty of an offence. Without putting too fine a point on it, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 section 72 contains provision for offences and associated penalties in respect of compliance failure.
The most serious offences are subject to a maximum penalty on summary conviction of a fine not exceeding £20,000 or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine, or to both.
In other cases on summary conviction the statutory maximum applies and on conviction on indictment the penalty is a fine whereas other less serious offences are subject to lesser maximum penalties.
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