Anyone who is responsible for a business premises has certain duties in respect to complying with fire safety regulations. Fire safety in buildings can be something of a regulatory maze and the aim of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) is to simplify the process and avoid any unnecessary confusion.
The order applies to most premises and virtually every type of building including:
- Office and Shops
- Care homes and hospitals
- Community halls, churches and places of worship
- Pubs, clubs and restaurants
- Schools and Colleges
- Factories and warehouses
- Shared areas in multiple occupation buildings; but not private homes.
The act places duties and obligations upon the person responsible fro the management of the building including:
- Fire Safety Risk Assessments
- Reducing the risk of fire wherever possible
- Taking extra precautions where flammable or explosive materials are stored on the premises
- Creating an emergency plan in the event of fire
Anyone who has control of the building or certain areas of the building can be the person responsible for complying with the order. This could be:
- The employer
- The managing agent or owner where the building is shared and/or has shared fire safety systems
- There may be instances where more than one person is responsible, for instance: in units where there are multiple business operating in one main building.
The responsible person has a duty to ensure that the order is complied with. He/she will be responsible for ensuring that a fire risk assessment is carried out and that, in the event of fire, every user of the building can escape safely.
The order removes the need for obtaining a Fire Certificate from the relevant Fire Authority and places the obligation of managing fire risk on the user of the building.
Useful Guides to Risk Assessments for Specific Business Types
The Department for Communities and Local Government have produced a range of useful guides to help business understand and comply with the order. (The guides are in PDF format and will open in a new window).
- Simple guide to making your premises safe from fire
- Offices and Shops
- Factories and Warehouses
- Sleeping Accommodation
- Residential Care Premises
- Educational Premises
- Small and Medium Places of Assembly
- Large Places of Assembly
- Theatres, Cinemas and Similar Premises
- Open Air Events and Venues
- Healthcare premises
- Transport Premises and Facilities
- Means of Escape for Disabled People
- Fire Safety Risk Assessment Check-list
Useful Fire Safety Links
- HSE – Workplace Fire Safety
- Fire Gateway – Workplace Safety
- The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE)
- Dept. Communities & Local Government – Fire Safety Guidance & Legislation
Introduction to Fire Safety Management: The Handbook for Students on NEBOSH and Other Fire Safety Courses
Written by Andrew Furness and Martin Muckett, the book is aimed at students of the NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management but is also of interest to anyone studying a related fire safety subject. The book contains a selection of useful illustrations, check-lists, report forms and record sheets.
Well laid out and easy to read this handbook is an invaluable source of reference for students, fire safety professionals, building managers and designers.