Fiction. Carrying out a fire risk assessment is a statutory obligation. Article 9 of The Fire Safety Order 2005, Article 53 and 54 of The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and Article 25 and 26 of The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 places a duty on the person responsible to make an assessment of the fire risks to which relevant people are exposed to identify the general fire precautions that need to be implemented.
Failure to carry out a fire risk assessment is a criminal offence. Where the assessment identifies the need for improvements, failure to implement those improvements is also a criminal offence, see Shell International Ltd case 2009.
It is always advisable to write down the risk assessment and the various control measures, but where five or more people are employed* the risk assessment must be recorded (written down).
* ‘Employed’ includes part time, temporary and voluntary workers.