Guidance from the FAQ section of the FireLaw website
Q Do I have to pay a specialist to carry out a fire safety risk assessment?
A Not necessarily. A fire safety risk assessment is a practical exercise aimed at evaluating the risk from fire, how fire can be prevented and how to ensure the safety of persons on, or in the immediate vicinity of the premises in the event of fire. An explanation of a risk assessment process is available on the Fire Safety Risk Assessment page (select "General Guidance" from the menu).
You may already deal with fire safety in-house, perhaps with the help of staff, using published guidance, past experience and sometimes formal training. The various guidance documents produced by the Scottish Government and published on this website may be of assistance.
However if your own resources are insufficient, or to deal with complex situations, you may be more likely to turn to an external fire risk assessor who has a greater depth of understanding of the issues and an ability to judge and solve problems.
Undertaking a fire safety risk assessment is not a one-off exercise. The risk assessment is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The outcome of the assessment needs to be acted upon, risks need to be controlled in a practical way, and fire safety arrangements need to be in place.
The assessment must also be kept under review and updated as necessary. Some dutyholders may wish to employ an external risk assessor for a one-off fire risk assessment, and thereafter act upon the outcomes of the risk assessment and deal with ongoing reviews of the risk assessment in-house.
Q If I have decided to employ someone to carry out my fire safety risk assessment for me, does the Scottish Government/the Fire and Rescue Service maintain a list of registered/recommended consultants/contractors?
A You are free to arrange any assistance you consider appropriate in fulfilling the risk assessment duty.
If you are looking to employ a fire safety specialist, it can be difficult to judge the competence of companies and persons who advertise their services as fire risk assessors. The fact that a person or company is operating in the fire sector or that someone has previous fire service experience, does not mean that they are a fire safety specialist.
There are a small number of fire risk assessor registration schemes in operation for persons and companies that carry out fire risk assessments.