Fire Safety Regulation
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic premises other than some specifically listed exemptions.
It replaces fire certification under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 with a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:
- The safety of employees,
- In relation to non-employees to take such fire precautions as may reasonably be required in the circumstances to ensure that the premises are safe
- A duty to carry out a fire risk assessment
- The main duty holder will be the “responsible person ”
- The duties on the responsible person will be extended to any person who has, to any extent, control of the premises.
- It will set out the matters to be taken into account in carrying out a risk assessment
- The general principles to be applied in implementing fire safety measures
- The special measures to be taken in relation to dangerous substances
- The Order will amend or repeal other legislation concerning fire safety.
- Following the fire risk assessment the employer must where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of employees in case of fire and to the extent that it is appropriate, provide:-
- Emergency exit routes and doors;
- The final emergency exit doors must open outwards and not be sliding or revolving;
- Emergency lighting to cover the exit routes where necessary;
- Fire-fighting equipment, fire alarms and where necessary fire detectors.
- Fire Exit signs, fire alarms and fire fighting equipment MUST be provided with pictograph signs – Health and Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996.
- Employers MUST provide employees with fire safety training following the written risk assessment.
- An emergency plan may have to be prepared and sufficient workers trained and equipped to carry out their functions within any such plan.
- All equipment and facilities such as fire extinguishers, alarms systems and emergency doors should be regularly maintained and faults rectified as soon as possible. Defects and repairs must be recorded.
- Employers MUST plan, organise, control, monitor and review the measures taken to protect employees from fire whilst at work and if more than five employees, then a record must be maintained.
- Employers MUST appoint an adequate number of competent persons to assist them to comply with their obligations e.g. a competent assessor to conduct fire risk assessments or a competent instructor to provide fire safety training.
- Persons shall be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training, experience, knowledge, and other qualities properly to perform their functions to conduct the fire risk assessment.
- If employers intentionally or recklessly fail to comply they will be guilty of an offence.
- There are a number of other technical and specific Regulations.