New fire safety law - the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety)
The government is changing fire safety
legislation. The changes are designed to make the law easier to
comply with and easier to understand by reforming and
rationalising current fire safety laws contained in over 100
pieces of legislation.
The changes will take effect from October 1
2006.The legislation that will bring about these changes is the
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO) 2005.
The changes will apply across England and
Wales and will affect all non-domestic premises and will even
apply to certain activities taking place outdoors.
What will this mean for you?
The main change will be in emphasis towards
risk reduction and fire prevention. Fire certificates will no
longer be issued.
Responsibility for complying with the Fire
Safety Order rests with the 'responsible person'. In a
workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may
have control of any part of the premises, for example, the
occupier or owner.
In all other premises the person or people in
control of the premises will be responsible. If there is more
than one responsible person in any type of premises, all must
take all reasonable steps to work with each other.
If you are the responsible person you must
carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety
in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay
particular attention to those at special risk, such as young
people, the disabled and those with special needs, and must
include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on
Your fire risk assessment will help you
identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the
nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to
take to protect people against the fire risks that remain. If
you employ five or more people you must record your risk
assessment and any significant findings.
Where does the new legislation apply?
The Fire Safety Order will apply to virtually
all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure
and open space. For example:
- offices and shops
- premises that provide care
- community halls
- common areas of houses in multiple
- pubs, clubs and restaurants
- tents and marquees
- hotels and hostels
- factories and warehouses
But it excludes purely domestic premises
occupied by a single family group.
We can take you through the process of making
your fire risk assessment. Go through the steps below.
Step 1 - identify the fire hazards
- identify people at risk
- evaluating the risks
Step 4 - record your findings
Step 5 - review and revise