Please note this advice is for the practical assessment from the old syllabi qualifications – National/International Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management.
The aim of the fire safety practical application is to assess your ability to complete a fire safety risk assessment of a workplace. You are not under exam conditions so take your time to ensure you get it right.
You need to complete the following sheets:
- Observation sheets.
- Form 1 – mostly deals with fire prevention.
- Form 2 – mostly deals with the risk of fire spread and the risk to persons.
- Form 3 – is the Summary Fire Risk Assessment sheet.
The Observation sheets – should contain details of where the fire hazard is located, the nature of the hazard and its risk, measures that are already in place and any remedial actions. The information on these sheets should be used to complete Forms 1, 2 and 3. NB the observation sheets are not marked by the Assessor but must be forwarded to RRC along with Forms 1, 2 and 3.
With FC2 it is easier to follow the section of the marking sheet to explain matters.
Form 1, Column A (1.1 & 1.2) – needs you to give up to 20 items relating to the three components of a fire.
The marks are awarded in 1.1 and 1.2 for range and number of fire hazards – this means you must show you have included ignition sources, fuel sources and oxygen sources and include up to 20 different items. (15 marks in total for 1.1 and 1.2)
Form 2, Column A (1.3) – needs to contain items that relate to the spread of fire and to the risks to persons. You need to include at least 15 items. Note these items are NOT the same as the items given in Form 1, Column A. For example, fire spread issues – mention things such as fire doors propped open, compartmentation etc. Risk to persons – mention items such as fire warning systems, escape routes, evacuation procedures etc. (15 marks)
Forms 1 & 2, Column B (1.4) – you need to identify the persons who are at risk. This should include employees, visitors, disabled people etc. (5 marks)
Form 1, Column C (2.1) – here you need to recognise measures to prevent a fire occurring. Think of this in terms of the fire triangle above – if you remove/control ignition sources eg have equipment PAT tested, use permits to work for hot works etc then you are controlling the ignition sources. To control fuel sources then store minimum quantities of flammable materials in suitable storage facilities. If ignition and fuel sources are controlled then a fire cannot start. Obviously, you can’t remove oxygen from the air but you could remove and store oxygen cylinders properly. In this section you also could mention arson which is a common cause of fire. Also give some measures to reduce the risk of arson eg security guards, CCTV etc. (15 marks)
Form 2, Column C (2.2 & 2.3) – In this column you need to recognise measures to reduce the risk of fire and smoke spread (2.2) and recognise measures to remove/reduce the risk to persons from a fire.
2.2 – in this section recognise measures such as the adequacy of the fire doors eg intumescent strips etc, use of compartmentation, adequacy of fire fighting and detection systems.
2.3 – in this section recognise the adequacy of escape routes and procedures, measures for evacuation of disabled people etc.
Form 3 (3.1, 3.2 and 3.3) – here you need to assess the OVERALL risk of Fire occurring, fire spread and risk to persons. Take care here as if the Assessor doesn’t agree with your assessment you will be given 0 marks.
3.1 – Overall assessment of the risk of fire occurring – you need to give an overall assessment of High, Medium or Low. You should arrive at this assessment by consulting Forms 1 and 2 – if the ignition, fuel sources and possible arson are not properly controlled then you may need to assess the risk as High. Be realistic in your assessment and justify your assessment by using examples from Forms 1 and 2. DON’T relate to risk of fire spread and/or the risk to persons in your justification or you will lose marks.
3.2 – Overall assessment of the risk of fire spread – the comments are similar to 3.1 except don’t include details of the risk of fire occurring and/or the risk to persons.
3.3 – Overall assessment of the risks to persons – again, similar comments to 3.1 but don’t include details of the risk of fire occurring and/or the risk of fire spread.
Forms 1 & 2, Column D (3.4) – deals with further measures required to improve fire safety and to further reduce the risks to as low as is reasonably practicable. You need to explain further measures related to reducing the risk of fire occurring, measures to reduce/remove the spread of fire/smoke and measures to reduce the risk of fire to persons.
This is marked on a sliding scale regarding to suitable measures for all items, or for a majority of items or for a minority items. (15 marks)
Form 3, Recommended review date (4.1) – you need to show an understanding of the need to review the fire risk assessment taking into account the levels of risk given in Form 3 and the urgency of the fire safety measures to be implemented eg 3 months, 6 months etc. You need to give some justification for overall date you are suggesting.
Summary Do’s and Don’ts for FC2:
- Make sure you give a brief explanation of the items you are including.
- Read the title headings carefully so that you know which items to include in which column. Make it easy for the examiner to award the marks!
- Give realistic assessments in Form 3 and justify the assessment.
- Don’t include items that are not relevant to the title of the column.
- Don’t just include one or two words for items, particularly in Column A on both forms – include a brief explanation.
- Don’t include many ‘no further action’ is needed in Form 1, Column D.
Eva Ainscough Env(NEBOSH) Dip, GradIOSH, CBIFM, M.Phil, M.Ed, BA, RSA(Dip)
RRC Tutor & NEBOSH Practical Assessment Marker