The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 [FSO] applies to virtually all non-domestic premises in England and Wales and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space. It recognises that Fire is possibly the biggest threat to the future of your business operations and the emphasis of the new Order is about:
- The need to conduct an organised and methodical fire risk assessment of your premises.
- Preventing fires and reducing risk through good fire safety management systems.
- Making it your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone (Relevant Persons).
- Doing away with the need for fire certificates.
It replaced most fire safety legislation with one simple order. It means that any person who has some level of control in premises (Responsible Person) must now take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people (Relevant Persons) can safety escape if there is a fire.
The responsibility for fire protection now rests with the responsible person(s) of the premises. If you are the ‘responsible person’ (see below) 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 disabled people.
Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be times when a number of people have some responsibility. Anyone who has control of premises or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be described as a ‘responsible person’. For example, it could be:
- The employer for those parts of premises staff may go to.
- The managing agent or owner for shared parts of premises.
- The occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations.
- Any other person (or contractor) who has some control over a part of the premises.
Under the Fire Safety Order, the Fire Authority will no longer issue fire certificates for premises. If there is a very serious risk to life, the fire authority can issue a notice restricting the premises being used for certain things (such as sleeping), or restricting people from using all or part of the premises.
You therefore have a legal duty of care to maintain a safe working environment that would clearly be breached if attention to basic fire prevention were grossly inadequate and the necessary fire precautions were not in place. Fire also costs money, so a proper and thorough fire risk assessment is also an essential factor determining the future of your business activities.
It is vitally important that you use a competent person to carry out the risk assessment. We are all former senior officers in the fire service with considerable fire safety management experience who aim to provide you with the best independent and technical solutions available.
Please view the section that is most relevant to your business requirements and contact us for more information. Use Firewise to help you comply with fire safety law – to protect your future business interests.
Firewise provide professional Fire Safety Training & Fire Risk Assessments in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and the South of England.