Heritage Fire Risk Assessments

- it’s a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment, and to make sure it’s regularly reviewed and kept up to date.

General information on fire risk assessments can be found on our Fire Risk Assessments page, however heritage buildings have particular risks and limitations associated with them - old doors, hidden voids, poor compartmentalisation etc. For this reason we strongly recommend that your fire risk assessment is carried out by a Competent Person / Assessor with experience and an understanding of fire safety within heritage buildings. As heritage buildings are very different to modern buildings, it’s extremely important that you take the time carry out research and ask suitable questions to be sure that the best person is employed or assigned to carry out the Fire Risk Assessment. 

If your business or organisation is relatively small and you think your potential risks aren’t complex, it is possible to do it yourself, but we recommend you use the guidance on the GOV.UK website.

Fire Strategies

To help with the development of a salvage plan, and to inform the Fire Risk Assessment, it’s important that for more complex heritage buildings that a Fire Strategy is carried out by a competent person.

So what is a Fire Strategy?

A Fire Strategy is a combination of fire safety measures that has been shown by reference to design codes or fire safety engineering (FSE) analysis to be capable of satisfying the specified functional objectives.

These strategies should be bespoke to the building. For a heritage building one of the aims should be to consider how to protect the contents and the premises in the event of a fire.

Documented fire strategies are a key point of reference when making any alterations to a building. The recorded fire strategy should be kept as simple as possible. This is so they can be understood by those who need to manage and maintain the building. They are also used to inform fire risk assessments and any building projects, as well as supporting the fire service in its roles as auditor of compliance with the Fire Safety Order.

The fire strategy document should be regularly reviewed and updated to take into account factors such as building works, change in risk and/or changes in relevant legislation.

This review of both the fire strategy and fire risk assessment is critical particularly during any construction phase of a project. This is when risk of a fire could be significant.

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