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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

From October 2006 there are a number of significant changes to Fire Safety Legislation and all emphasis rests with you the ‘responsible Person’.

How will you know if you will be affected by the Law change?

  • Are you responsible for business premises?
  • Are you an employer?
  • Self-employed with business premises?
  • A charity or voluntary organisation?
  • A contractor with a degree of control over any premises?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions then you will need to act by October 2006.

As the ‘Responsible Person’ you must carry out or appoint a ‘competent person’ to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. This ‘competent person’ must understand fire safety legislation, training, experience and knowledege of fire safety. Understand fire hazards, the development of fire and the knowledge and experience in carrying out fire risk assessments.

Failure to comply may result in fines in excess of £2000 and or a prison sentence of up to 2 years.

Please call for an appointment or to discuss your concerns on 01444 241424

THE REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER 2005

Guidance for Business

1. As part of the Government's commitment to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire, the Department for Communities and Local Government has reviewed current fire safety law; and is making a number of changes through the Introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

2. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 RR (FS) O was approved by Parliament on 7 June 2005. It has amalgamated the requirements of most existing Fire Safety legislation and placed it under one encompassing legislative umbrella. With this in mind both the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended 1999) will be repealed.

3. The main effect of the changes will be a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises, including the voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes. The ethos is that prevention is better than responding after an incident occurs.

4. Fire certificates will be abolished and will cease to have legal status. However, they may be retained by responsible persons to assist in the carrying out Risk Assessments as well as for maintaining accurate historical records.

5. The Fire Safety Order will apply in England and Wales. Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own legislation.

6. Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order will rest 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, e.g. the occupier or owner.

7. If there is more than one responsible person in any type of premises, they must each take all reasonable steps to co-ordinate their actions.

8. The responsible person will have to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, which must focus on safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as the disabled and those with special needs, and include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on the premises. The Fire Risk Assessment should be carried out by a competent person who has a proven Fire Safety or Engineering background.

9. The Fire Risk Assessment will help to identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions that need to be taken to protect people against any remaining fire risks.

10. Responsibility for enforcement of the new rules will be with the local Fire and Rescue Service Authority that will carry out regular inspections with top priority going to those premises presenting most risk to the community. This could include sports stadiums as there are large numbers involved at some events.

11. The RR (FS) O becomes Law on the 1st October 2006.

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