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Regulatory Reform Order

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO 2005)

As part of the Government’s commitment to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has reviewed current fire safety law; and are making a number of changes through the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO). The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was approved by Parliament on 7 June 2005. The consultation paper on which the Order is based can be found below.

What does this mean for me?

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.

Fire certificates will be abolished and will cease to have legal status.

The Fire Safety Order will apply in England and Wales. (Northern Ireland and Scotland will have their own laws.) It covers ‘general fire precautions’ and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect ‘relevant persons’ in case of fire in and around most ‘premises’. The Order requires fire precautions to be put in place “where necessary” and to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances of the case.

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, eg 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 will have to 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 the disabled and those with special needs, and must include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on the premises. 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 the significant findings of the assessment.

Contact us for help and advice on how this affects you.

Further Guidance and advice can be found at the following Site:

www.odpm.gov.uk