Current fire law, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, came into effect in October 2006 and applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, including the common parts of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The law applies to those who are:
- responsible for business premises
- an employer or self-employed with business premises
- responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
- a charity or voluntary organisation
- a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
- providing accommodation for paying guests
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the Responsible Person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. The Fire Industry Association, of which Choice is a member, has a 5-minute video explaining who the law treats as the Responsible Person for fire safety in an organisation, plus the benefits of using Third-Party Certification to ensure fire law compliance:
Greater detail is available in a 60-minute webinar recording from the UK Fire Protection Association. Choice can assist if you need more practical advice or information on the implementation of a fire risk management plan by introducing a fire safety specialist to help you. Alternatively, your insurer may be able to provide a recommendation.
Important information relating to the current legislation
- The new Order applies to virtually all non-domestic premises & licensed, multi-occupancy premises
- Fire Certificates were abolished – any existing documents lost their validity
- The Order brought new responsibilities for employers and new rights for employees
- Employers and persons who control buildings are responsible for the safety of employees/staff
- Employees have a right to adequate fire safety to protect them from harm – and appropriate instruction as to what to do in the event of a fire
- Fire safety is now based on fire risk assessments – taking steps to prevent fire and actions that will limit the effects of fire to ensure the safety of people on-site
- The ‘Responsible Person’ needs to appoint a competent third-party, certified company to look after life safety systems
- Fire risk assessment and mitigating measures must be constantly reviewed and kept up-to-date
- Premises covered by the Order may be inspected by enforcement officers to ensure compliance with the law
- Breaches are a criminal, rather than civil, offence
Please contact Choice for guidance and information to assist you in achieving compliance.
This link to a PDF file of the Fire Industry Association’s Best Practice Guide to Fire Safety and other relevant guides may also be useful.