06 November 2018 | Nick Hickman
Nick Hickman explains how a well-structured Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) document is beneficial for clients and assessors.
Many fire risk assessors will just hand over the fire risk assessment (FRA) document to a client and walk away. This is often all that the contract demands. But both parties will gain far more if you provide a comprehensive package that explains the significant findings and the risks their company faces if they go unheeded.his is often all that the contract demands. But both parties will gain far more if you provide a comprehensive package that explains the significant findings and the risks their company faces if they go unheeded.
I like to think of FRAs for external clients in three tiers: bronze, silver or gold.
Bronze meets basic legal requirements but it may not be suitable for large or complex sites or those lacking fire safety management and policy/procedures. There is no after-sales advice and continuing support. This is suitable for low-risk buildings or where the client's lender requires an assessment (such as when you sell a property).
Silver is probably suitable for most properties. Clients can opt to buy additional hours of advice and guidance based on the findings of the assessment.
You have to be aware of the CDM regulations. If you don't want to be a designer then don't become one; it's not down to the assessor to write the specifications for third-party contractors or programme and deliver remedial works.
'Gold' covers all your FRA and fire safety management needs and is recommended for all high-risk properties.
We can and should do more than just tick boxes and go beyond the assessing remit.
Don't fill your assessment with references to British Standards if the reader does not understand them. Go beyond the legislation. Before you sign off your assessment, consider whether your client will understand your report.
Otherwise, you may well have done less than you could to guarantee business continuity, protect the business's reputation or save lives.
Nick Hickman is facilities manager at Surrey County Council