Twrog Risk Consultants

TWROG Risk Consultants

Tel: 01267 275 421
Mob: 0729 479 567
E-mail: johncoch@btinternet.com

Fire Safety Legislation

Fire Safety Legislation

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was introduced with the intention of consolidating the multitude of existing fire safety legislation into one piece of legislation and simplifying the legal situation at the same time.

Whether it has been a success from that perspective is perhaps open to debate.

As a consequence of the changes in legislation fire certificates issued previously under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 no longer have any statutory effect. Instead, a fire risk assessment needs to be undertaken; usually documented, which covers general fire precautions and other fire safety duties needed to protect relevant persons in and around most types of premises. Some premises may also be subject to the provisions of a licence or registration process so these types of premise will require a documented risk assessment to be maintained.

The assessment addresses issues such as means of escape from the building, how the means of escape from the building can be secured, what first aid fire fighting equipment needs to be provided, the training of staff in how to react when a fire is discovered and what relevant records need to be maintained.

As with the previous legislation it will be the fire and rescue authority for the area which will enforce the legislation. What is required under the legislation? Anyone who has control of premises or who has a degree of control over particular areas or systems within a premise may be designated as a ‘responsible person’ (e.g. an employer, a managing agent, an owner, an occupier or any other person who has some control over all or part of relevant premises).

Under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 the ‘responsible person’ is required to:

  • Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment identifying the risks and hazards
  • Identify who may be at risk as a consequence of the risks and hazards identified
  • Develop strategies to eliminate or reduce the risks as far as is reasonably practical
  • Provide additional measures where flammable or explosive materials are used or stored
  • Create a contingency plan to deal with emergencies
  • Where the risks and hazards affect more than five persons the assessment needs to be documented
  • Review the findings, as necessary

The legislation applies to virtually all types of premises and virtually every type of building, structure and open space used as a premise where people work, where people sleep or congregate. The only premise which is exempted from the legislation is a dwelling used by a single family grouping.

The more common types of premises are:

  • Offices and shops
  • Residential or Nursing Care premises
  • Licensed premises – pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • Hotels, hostels, houses in multiple occupation and common circulation areas in flats; and Factories and warehouses