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Topic: Risk assessments - fire

fire hazards - sources of fuel
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Fire hazards - sources of fuel

Fire hazards - sources of fuel

When carrying out a fire risk assessment your starting point is to identify hazards, including materials which can burn. Use our document to note your findings.

Systematic assessment

Our fire risk assessment system includes a suite of documents which you can work through in easy-to-use sections. At the start of the process you need to identify fire hazards: fuels, ignition sources and sources of oxygen. These are the three things which are usually needed for a fire to start or to be sustained. This document looks at materials which will fuel a fire.

using the form

The revised document includes ten fuel sources against which you can tick “yes” or “no”, describe their “location” and write any further “notes/ actions”. The suggested materials are:

  • stationery, paper or card, advertising materials or decorations
  • wood
  • waste materials, e.g. wood shavings, off cuts, paper, shredded paper, plastics or textiles
  • flammable liquids
  • flammable gases
  • dusts in large quantities, e.g. wood dust collectors, powdered products
  • plastics, rubber or foam
  • polystyrene beads, boxes, packaging
  • upholstered furniture and textiles
  • other.

You can’t remove all sources of fuel, but by identifying what they are you have an opportunity to see if the risk can be reduced. For example, if the foam filling is exposed in upholstered furniture, the fire risk is much higher because there’s no covering of treated fabric. You might also find that flammable liquids are not stored in the designated place or that waste is being allowed to accumulate too much before collection. By spotting these problems during your risk assessment you can take action to reduce the risk of fire.

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