Q. What is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?
A. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 passed through Parliament in 2005 and became law the following year. The order reduced burdens on business that were caused by the existence of multiple, overlapping general fire safety regimes and consequently overlap of the responsibilities of enforcing authorities. The order consolidated and rationalised much of the existing fire safety legislation (that was scattered across a large number of statutes and secondary legislation) into one order. In doing so it reduced the number of enforcing authorities dealing with general fire safety matters. The order maintains and enhances the protection afforded to users of premises (and others who might be affected by a fire on the premises).
Q. Should I wait for the Fire Officer to visit and identify any action required?
A. No. You will need to prepare a fire risk assessment and emergency plan. The findings of the risk assessment must be recorded where: A licence under an enactment is in force. An Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order requires it. You are an employer and have five or more employees, or &You have an employee under the age of 18 years. The risk assessment must cover both employees and any other relevant person. This may include employees of other employers, as well as visitors, contractors etc. An inspecting officer will expect to see your risk assessment and emergency plan when an inspection is carried out.
Q. Who is the Responsible Person?
A. 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.
Q. Who is a relevant person?
A. Any person (including the responsible person) who is lawfully on the premises and any person in the vicinity of the premises who may be affected by a fire on the premises. This means, for example, that if you store substances that are explosive when exposed to fire you may need to consider the occupants of nearby buildings, if they could be affected by an explosion or by any exclusion zone or cordon set up by the fire brigade because of the danger of explosion.
Q. What do I have to do to make my business ready for a fire safety inspection?
A. Comply fully with your statutory duties under the Fire Safety Order 2005. This will include; Ensuring that a suitable and adequate fire risk assessment has been carried out for the premises that addresses any risk posed by your activities to anyone in, on, or near the premises. The significant findings of the risk assessment must be recorded if; any employee is less than 18 years of age the premises requires a license, or there is storage of hazardous materials. A copy of the risk assessment must be available for inspection. The risk assessment must be reviewed regularly (12 to 18 months is recommended), and it must also be reviewed following any significant change (i.e. construction, premises use, process etc.). Refer caller to CLG website for guidance applicable to specific premises
Q. What is a fire certificate?
A. The Fire Precautions Act 1971 required certain premises to have a Fire Certificate issued by the Local Fire Authority. However, this legislation was repealed on 10 October 2006 with the start of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) and fire certificates are now no longer issued. However if you have a copy on site, this may prove a valuable aid when carrying out your fire risk assessment.
Q. I have a fire certificate. Do I need to take other action?
A. Yes. When the Fire Safety Order came into force, fire certificate legislation was repealed and fire certificates are no longer issued or valid. You will need to prepare a fire risk assessment and emergency plan. The information contained in your fire certificate may assist you in assessing the existing control measures at step three in preparing your fire risk assessment.
Q. Where can I find information on the legislation with details on how to comply?
A. Aside from the information provided on this web site, we strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of the relevant guidance document for your premises as listed below. The documents set out the requirements of the Fire Safety Order in a simple, non-prescriptive, user-friendly style and offer advice about whether the responsible person needs to do anything more than they are already doing in order to comply.
1. Animal Premises & Stables
2. Means of escape for Disabled Persons (Supplementary Guide)
3. Offices and Shops
4. Factories and Warehouses
5. Sleeping and Accommodation
6. Residential care premises
7. Educational Premises
8. Small and Medium Places of Assembly
9. Large Places of Assembly
10. Theatres and Cinemas
11. Fire Safety Guides Table
12. Risk Assessment Check List
13. RRO Short Guide to Making your Premises Safe
14. Open Air events & Venues
15. Healthcare Premises
16. Transport Premises & Facilities
A small entry-level guide is also being produced and is available on our website along with links to all of the guides.
Q. I have a small business and only employ one or two people. Do I need to be aware of the Fire Safety Order?
A. From 1st October 2023 , Section 156 of the Building Safety Act will commence. All businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of business
You can find more information on fire risk assessments here: Fire Risk Assessments | Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (merseyfire.gov.uk)
Q. I'm self-employed. How am I affected by the legislation?
A. The Fire Safety Order applies to all premises including those occupied by the self-employed. You will need to carry out a fire risk assessment and have an emergency plan appropriate for the premises you occupy. The findings of the risk assessment must be recorded where: A licence under an enactment is in force. An Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order requires it. You are an employer and have five or more employees.
Q. I am just one of the businesses in a large, multi-occupied building. Who has responsibility here?
A. Under the Fire Safety Order each employer is responsible for the safety of both their employees and any other relevant person. This may include employees of other employers as well as visitors, contractors etc. As an employer you must take account of the risk to both your employees and other relevant persons to the extent to which you have control of the premises and other employers in the building must do the same. The owner (or landlord if they have legal responsibility) of the building must take into account the risk to persons in the common parts. Article 22 of the Fire Safety Order requires all parties to cooperate, where two or more responsible persons have duties in respect of the Order.
Q. Will implementing the Fire Safety Order cost me anything?
A. Possibly! If your fire safety standards do not reflect your environment, working practices, protection of employees, etc, then the Fire Safety Order may require that fire safety standards are improved. Conversely, with a robust fire risk assessment, fire routines, work practices and staff training, you may actually be able to save money.