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Risk to life protocols


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Hello all,

I understand the role and responsibilities of a local fire authority fire officer and their powers but what about as an independent risk assessor. What are the implications of completing an inspection where you believe there is a risk to life. I.e chained and padlocked/ blocked fire exits.

What can a risk assessor do, so that they can walk away with a clear conscience, if indeed they do walk away before rectifying the situation. 

You can obviously inform the responsible person verbally. Does it need a follow up e mail, before they get the report?

Do you report to the local fire authority, but then are you in breach of GDPR or does that override that?

For me it would, as my primary role it to safe life and therefore privacy may have to come second.

In multi occ. premises do you need to inform all occupants, verbally and in writing/e mail. 

Do you contact the landlord directly?

I appreciate morally you have a duty of care to the occupants to do everything you can to mitigate the circumstance and reduce the risk by implementing the above but legally where do you stand. What would you do/ have done?

Any references, legal or otherwise, much appreciated.

Many thanks.




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If it's an high risk then it's recommended for indemnity purposes to tell the client as once, both verbally and in writing (we have debrief forms for that purpose) rather than leave it until the report.

Imminent risk to life is a moral choice rather than a legal obligation - do you tell the client and leave it or, if you believe they aren't actually going to act escalate it?

The public interest test and whistle-blower's legislation would indemnify the data breach, but you would (if they found out) loose a client.

It's a judgement call really - there is no single answer.

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