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Fire Risk Assessment

'Last updated: 09/10/2023

Version: 2.0

This supersedes the last issued print version (v1.1, dated 2018-05-21) and previous online versions

The Building

Swansea Hackspace currently leases the upper two floors of 21/22 Park Street, Swansea, SA1 3DJ. The lease does not include the rear area downstairs or the attic, but we are responsibility for the "common" areas of the ground floor.

The building was constructed around 1930, with external masonry walls and wooden internal floors.

Ground floor.

The ground floor includes a shared lobby and a disused and derelict shop floor area to the rear (not included in our lease). The main entrance is protected with a roller shutter that can be operated by key or an authorised RFID tag. The front door is held closed with a magnetic latch that can be released from outside with an authorised RFID tag or by operating a keyswitch installed above the door frame. From inside, the lock is released by a push button. A "break glass" style override is also provided for emergency egress.

A fire alarm control panel is present at the bottom of the stairs.

First floor

The first floor consists of a single open room that provides the main working area of the Hackspace. A door opposite the stairwell provides an alternative means of escape via the neighbouring building.

Second floor

At the top of the stairs, an access ladder leads to the attic (not part of our lease). The corridor leads to two rooms on the right/to the front of the building with individually lockable doors and two toilets on the left/to the rear of the building. At the far end of the corridor is another open plan room.

At this time, the second floor is used for access to the toilets and for storage.

Usage and Occupancy

The building is used as a community workshop, with activities regularly scheduled for evenings and weekends. The building is accessible to keyholders who have undergone a safety induction. Inducted keyholders can access the space on a 24/7 basis, including for lone working.

Based on 5m2 floorspace per person in open areas and single occupancy of toilets and smaller spaces, the space may be occupied by up to 34 people, although regular occupancy will be lower.

As a voluntary membership organisation, the hackspace has no employees. Occupants can be broadly classified into the membership (members and directors) and non-members (visitors, guests, and contractors).



Members are responsible for their own safety within the space, and for the safety of their guests. Outside organised events, or when no director is present, members are also responsible for the evacuation of the space in an emergency.


All directors are also members. In addition to their responsibilities as members, directors are responsible for ensuring that members have access to this risk assessment, that safety measures and signage are in place and inspected regularly, for reviewing this document as required, and for supervising the evacuation of the space when present.

Visitors, Guests and Contractors

Non-members attending the space can be broadly split into three categories.

  • Contractors: Persons attending the space to carry out work on our behalf
  • Guests: Friends or family of a member attending and direct supervision of that member
  • Visitors: Any non-member attending the space for an open evening or public workshop

Regular visitors should be encouraged to become members and receive an appropriate safety induction.

Guests are only permitted in the space outside of public events when under direct supervision.

When any visitors or guests are present, they must not be unsupervised within the Hackspace, and must follow the instructions of Hackspace Members and Directors in the event of an emergency.

Members are responsible for any non-members that they admit to the space, and are responsible for accounting for non-members that they have admitted to the space in the event of an evacuation.

Contractors may be permitted to work unsupervised, subject to suitable access arrangements being made and a suitable safety induction being carried out. This should be recorded.

Individuals at Risk

As an open membership organisation that also (at certain times) permits access to the public, it is probable that the space will at times be occupied by those with visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments.

Public activities only take place when company directors or another keyholder are present to take charge of any building evacuation.

As part of their safety induction, members will be asked to inform the directors of any condition that may impede their ability to evacuate the space unaided. Risk assessments and personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) will then need to be put in place as needed.

Fire Hazards

There is no known history of fire incidents within the building. When the building is not occupied, a metal roller shutter is kept closed against the front entrance to the building. This provides some security against arson, provided the area between the shutter and the shop windows and front door is kept clear of combustible materials.

Smoking is prohibited within the building by law and the organisation's rules extend this to include vaping / eCigarettes.


There are a small number of electric panel heaters on the second floor of unknown age and condition. These are not to be used.

There is one wall mounted panel heater and one infrared area heater on the first floor. These must be kept clear of flammable materials at all times. Checking that this is the case will also form part of the regular space inspection list.

Electrical Safety

The building has been subject to inspection and an Electrical Installation Condition Report obtained in April 2022. The distribution boards on the ground and first floors have since been upgraded and replaced in March 2023, with a separate certificate issued for that work.

Fixed sockets are available near all workbenches to limit the need for extension leads to be used.

Most electronics work carried out by members is on low voltage devices, any work on or testing of higher voltage devices (including mains) should be subject to discussion and risk assessment.

Gas torches/tools, hot air guns and similar

Gas torches/tools and hot air guns may be used within the space for hot air work, soldering, brazing and material heating. They are not to be used to deliberately ignite material without separate risk assessment.

All gas torches/tools should be turned off when not in use, and are never to be left unattended while lit.

Torches/tools should not be stored until cool and should not be left unattended until they have cooled sufficiently.

Waste control and storage

There is a designated bin area within the first floor of the space.

Until a waste disposal contract is in place, members and visitors should be encouraged to remove any waste that they generate within the space.

Food waste must not be left within the space.

Other Risks

Laser Cutter

The laser cutter will often produce smoke and small flames as a consequence of its method of operation. The smoke should be handled by the extraction system and flames would normally extinguish when the laser is deactivated.

The laser cutter must be used in accordance with the instructions given during inductions (including control measures identified in its risk assessment) and listed on the laser cutter page.

Fire Protection Measures

Alarm System

A central fire alarm system has been fitted in the space, with a control panel on the ground floor at the bottom of the stairs.

Actions to be taken on finding a fire or hearing an alarm are listed on the Fire Safety page.

Operation of the fire alarm panel is described in more detail on the fire alarm control panel page.

Fire Fighting Equipment


There are water fire extinguishers located on each floor for use in case of emergency, and an additional carbon dioxide extinguisher on the first floor.

Fire Safety Signage

The layout of each floor, including escape routes and other safety information, is displayed on each floor near the stairwell.

Fire notices including the general actions to take on discovery of fire or sounding of the alarm are also displayed on each floor.

Fire Safety Management

Overall safety management remains with the directors, but all members have a responsibility to follow the Hackspace's policies to ensure that the safety measures laid out are not compromised.

- Last change February 19, 2024, at 07:57 PM
- Registered in England and Wales 08777436