Fire Risk Assessor

Definition - What does Fire Risk Assessor mean?

A fire risk assessor is a risk-management professional who specializes in identifying fire hazards and associated risks within the workplace(s) they work in. They are also responsible for devising the safety controls necessary to mitigate those risks, as well as for preparing emergency plans and providing training to employees. The fire risk assessor also provides advice directly to the employer, or other person in-control of the worksite, with regards to how to further manage onsite fire hazards.

The use of fire risk assessments and fire safety plan is a workplace legal requirement in most jurisdictions; however, the fire risk assessor profession itself exists primarily within the United Kingdom. The use of a fire risk assessor to ensure adequate workplace fire safety is recognized as a way for employers to fulfill their legal responsibility to maintain employee safety.

Safeopedia explains Fire Risk Assessor

“Fire risk assessor” (FRA) is a job title used primarily within the United Kingdom. While the FRA role is widely recognized, it is not a profession that is described in any regulation. This means that no minimum level of competency or certification is required for an individual to adopt the title. In order to prevent unqualified professionals from using the term, the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council publishes both a list of competency criteria that they believe act as a minimum acceptable standard, as well as a guide for choosing a competent risk assessor.

Under UK law, the individual responsible for a workplace must carry out hazard assessments at reasonable intervals. As the law does not specify the need for an FRA with minimum qualifications, this duty may be carried out by anyone who can reasonably perform it—for simple occupancies, the employer themselves may carry out these assessments. For more complex workplaces, the use of an assessor with adequate qualifications is necessary for the employer to be deemed to have met their general duty to ensure the safety of inhabitants.

Because the law does not specify what level of qualification it is necessary for an assessor to possess in order for them to be able to adequately assess a given building type, employers typically rely on professional fire protection associations to inform their judgment. In addition to the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council, other recognized fire protection organizations—such as the Institution of Fire Engineers—also maintain a register of Fire Risk Assessors that meet adequate professional standards.

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