M C Fire Protection

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New Fire Laws

Fire Risk Assessment

About The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:

The Regulatory Reform Act 2001 give Ministers the power by order, to reform legislation which has the effect of imposing burdens affecting persons carrying on of any activity.

Such orders are known as Regulatory Reform Orders.

Before a minister may make a Regulatory Reform Order, he or she must take the following three steps: <

  • Consult widely with those affected by the proposals;
  • Lay before Parliament a proposal for an order, together with an explanatory statement, and allow time for Parliamentary consideration;
  • Lay before parliament, and obtain parliament's approval of, a draft order.

Only once all these steps have been successfully completed may the order become law.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO)

As part of the 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 2005 (RRFSO).

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was approved by Parliament on 7 June 2005 and comes into force on 1 October 2006.

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 a greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises, including the voluntary sector and the 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 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 rests with the responsible Person. In a work place, this is the employer and any other person that 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 must carry out a fire risk assessment, which must focus on the safety in case of a 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 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.

Further Help and Information

A series of guides have been produced in order to assist those preparing fire risk assessments; these give detailed information on risk assessments and other issues. Some main guides are available on http://www.communities.gov.uk/fire

The following is a list of the Eleven RRO guides:

  1. Offices and Shops;
  2. Premises providing sleeping accommodation;
  3. Residential care;
  4. Small and medium places of assembly;
  5. Large places of assembly;
  6. Factories and Warehouses;
  7. Theatres and Cinemas;
  8. Educational Premises;
  9. Healthcare Premises (responsibility of the department of health);
  10. Transport premises and facilities;
  11. Open air events.

A short guide to making your premises safe from fire is also available from this website as a free booklet.

Individually tailored course to suit your company. We can explain what is required in the assessment, provide various manuals to help with the exercise and teach you how to complete your Fire Risk Assessment. Alternatively we can do it with you, or do it for you.

If you wish to speak to a member of our team about the New Fire Laws, then contact either our Bristol or Bicester office, by calling 01869 252600 or 01275 333336. You can email us here