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Fire Risk Assessment

This form should be completed by everyone who is planning an event either indoors or outdoors. All boxes on the form must be completed and the words 'Not Applicable' must be written where, in the opinion of the person completing the form, the question is not relevant.

When looking to complete the form it is better to give too much information rather than too little.

How to Complete the Form

Section 1, Significant Hazards; The essential elements for a fire are commonly known as the 'Triangle of fire' and comprise of the three components required for a fire to start: 'Heat' (or an ignition source), 'Oxygen' and a 'Fuel' supply.

When looking to identify potential ignition sources we should look for possible heat sources that could get hot enough to ignite any material found at the event. These sources could include (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • Electrical, gas or oil-fired heaters (fixed or portable), room heaters;

  • Hot processes, e.g. welding in workshops and by contractors, use of bunsen burners;

  • Cooking equipment, hot ducting, flues and filters, e.g. in refectories, canteens, food technology areas;

  • Naked flames, e.g. gas or liquid-fuelled open-flame equipment;

  • Arson, deliberate ignition, vandalism and so on;

  • Poor electrical installations, e.g. overloads, heating from bunched cables, damaged cables;

  • Faulty or misused electrical equipment, e.g. technology, art and craft facilities;

  • Chemical agents in laboratories;

  • Carelessly discarded smoking materials, e.g. cigarettes, matches and lighters;

  • Light fittings and lighting equipment, e.g. halogen lamps or display lighting;

  • Central heating boilers; and

  • Hot surfaces and obstruction of equipment ventilation, e.g. office equipment.

In a similar way Fuel sources can be identified by making a general statement such that 'Anything that burns is fuel for a fire'. you need to look for the things that will burn reasonably easily and are in sufficient quantity to provide fuel for a fire or cause it to spread to another fuel source. Some of the most common fuels found in educational premises are; (please note this list is for guidance only and is not exhaustive);

  • Flammable liquids, such as cooking oils, solvents, adhesives, other substances and preparations being used in laboratories and workshops,

  • Flammable chemicals being used in laboratories or photographic darkrooms, cleaning products, photocopier chemicals,  

  • Flammable gases in laboratories and other serviced spaces, LPG,

  • Displays and teaching materials,

  • Paper, books, clothing, computer equipment, decorations (particularly at Christmas),

  • Props and scenery in drama presentations,

  • Textiles and soft furnishings, e.g drapes, costumes, table coverings,

  • Waste and litter products, particularly wood shavings, sawdust, swarf and other cut offs in the engineering and art design departments, polymers, and other finely divided items,

  • Gymnasium mats and crash pads with cellular foam filling,

  • Plastics rubber, video tapes, polyurethane foam filled furniture.

One important factor that needs to be considered is materials being displayed on walls and ceilings and how they may contribute to the spread of fire, this is one of the most underestimated sources of fuel that people fail to take into consideration.

The final ingredient of the recipe for fire or 'Triangle of Fire' is Oxygen.

The main source of oxygen for a fire is in the air around us. In an enclosed building this can be provided by natural ventilation; i.e. through doors, windows and other openings, or mechanically; generally through air conditioning units or air handling systems. In many buildings there will be a combination of both systems in operation, these will generally be capable of introducing or extracting air to and from the building.

Other parts of the form namely sections 2 to 5 and section 7 are fairly self explanatory.

Section 6 refers to the escape routes, in this section a brief description of the availability of exits and the number of ways out there are in an emergency should be indicated on the form.

Section 8 looks at existing controls that may be in place for the protection of people whilst Section 9 asks that you to use a little judgement and say if there are in your opinion any other controls that may be required, an example of this could be the need for fire extinguishers, particularly if the event is being held outdoors.

Click on the link below to download the risk assessment form. This can then be completed electronically and emailed to us once complete.