The Fire Safety
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was approved
by Parliament on 7 June 2005 and came into force in October
It has replaced all the existing fire safety legislation and
will have an impact on all employers, owners, occupiers and self-employed
businesses. There are very few exceptions from having to comply
with the new regulations.
It will apply in England and Wales, with Northern Ireland and
Scotland having 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.
Currently there are over 100 pieces of legislation dating from
1947 – 1999 which have an impact on fire safety. Many firms
have to comply with one or more of these which can cause confusion
To simplify this, Industry, the Government and the Fire & Rescue
Services have streamlined all the legislation into one document.
It is a much simpler piece of legislation to follow. It firmly
places the responsibility for all fire safety matters with not
only the employer, but also the owner of a building (who may
not be the employer) and other persons who are responsible for
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 has been abolished and cease to have
The Order requires fire precautions to be put in place where
necessary and as far as is reasonable and practicable in the
circumstances of the case.
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, e.g. 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 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.