Fire Safety Consultancy vs Fire Risk Assessment. What’s the difference and which is right for your business?

16 June 2021

Who knew there was so much choice when it comes to sorting out your company’s fire safety management. 

Whether you own an individual premises, have a small portfolio or you’re a big property investor there are services and softwares out there to suit everyone’s fire risk assessment needs. 

But how do you know you’re getting the right service for your business? If you own a single commercial premises in town do you really need a fire safety consultant and how would one benefit your large portfolio of city centre flats?

With so much noise in the market place it can be easy to get confused and purchase services that might not be the best use of your revenue. 

In this article we’re going to lay out the differences between a fire risk assessment service and a fire safety consultancy service and recommend what types of business would benefit from each service.  

 

What is a fire risk assessment service?

A fire risk assessment is a yearly review (review periods can be longer or shorter) undertaken on a building to assess its fire risk and, if necessary, offer recommendations and guidance to make the building fire safety compliant. This is a legal requirement under The Fire Safety Order 2005 and the recent Fire Safety Act.

The assessment involves a 3rd party accredited Company or fire risk assessor (FRA) checking over the building for acts, defects or management procedures that could present a fire safety risk. The FRA will then inform the property owner/responsible person about any hazards and recommend improvements the responsible person will then need to carry out. 

Fire risk assessment must be carried out regularly on buildings and it’s recommended the following guidelines are followed:

  • A fire risk assessment ideally should be carried out every 12 months after the original assessment is done
  • Once every 3-5 years (depending on property type) a new assessment should be conducted on the property 
  • An assessment should take place if the occupancy or use of the premises has substantially changed, or there have been significant material changes
  • An assessment should be reviewed if the layout of the property has been altered 

We recommend that the FRA is recorded regardless of the number of persons or employees. It’s just good practice. 

A fire risk assessment is a one time transaction with a fire risk assessment company, unless you decide to partner with one like you can do with Total Fire Group. If a small business owner is able to manage their own fire safety cycle and set reminders for themselves to contact a fire risk assessor they will probably find a fire risk assessment service is the right service for them.  

 

What is a fire safety consultancy service?

A fire safety consultancy service is better suited for larger clients that want ongoing and proactive support in regards to their fire safety management. 

Total Fire Group provides a consultancy service to building developers and owners of large property portfolios (amongst many other clients). This consists of automated reminders when fire risk assessments are due (if they subscribe to our fire risk management software Aurora Data). It involves regular monthly meetings with senior management teams and Boards to advise on the impact of their fire risk assessment programmes on the organisation.

A fire risk consultancy will review a businesses existing fire safety  documentation and procedures to make sure they offer the right level of detail for a business to be compliant with fire safety regulations. This will be an ongoing service the consultancy provides. A consultancy will also review and offer improvements to existing emergency policies and procedures and review them regularly in light of any changes to a business’s operations.     

A fire risk assessment is just one part of a fire consultancy service and a fire risk consultant will help a client through every stage of the fire risk management cycle. Using a fire risk consultancy services is a great idea for larger property companies that want to outsource their fire safety management support to a team of experts.

Unlike a smaller business owner who may only need a yearly risk assessment, managing multiple properties is complex and demanding. This means it would be wise for a property developer to outsource some of the fire risk management support to experts who can proactively make their lives easier.  

 

Which service is right for your business?

Which service you choose will depend on multiple factors like; the size of your business, the size of your property, the number of properties you have and many other considerations. The descriptions above should have given you a good idea of which service is right for you. 

You can arrange a fire risk assessment or a fire safety consultancy with us. Or if you’d like to talk through your requirements you can contact us directly.

SERVICES

We offer our clients a complete fire safety management service, our key services include:

Fire Risk Assessments

Delivering a comprehensive and detailed report on your property.

READ MORE
Fire Safety Consultancy

We can provide a partnership which offers auditing and consultancy services.

READ MORE
Fire Risk Management Software

Manage multiple risk assessment actions with our Aurora software.

READ MORE
Fire Safety Training

Our fire safety training courses cover every level of fire safety, from basic through to advanced.

READ MORE