Fire Risk Assessment
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 became law in October 2006 and introduced significant change to workplace fire safety responsibilities. As well as simplifying the legislative regime by bringing all fire safety legislation together into one Order, it introduced the need for employers, building owners and occupiers as 'responsible persons' to carry out, implement and maintain a fire safety risk assessment.
How will the legislation affect you?
All existing fire legislation has now been repealed or revoked, which includes the Fire Precautions Act 1971, the amended 1997 Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations plus 100 other pieces of fire related legislation. Fire certificates are no longer valid. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will be a Fire Risk Assessment based approach where the responsible person(s) for the premises or the area for which they have control must decide how to address the risks identified while meeting certain requirements. By adopting a Fire Risk Assessment, the responsible person(s) will need to look at how to prevent fire from occurring in the first place by removing or reducing hazards and risks (ignition sources). They then need to look at the precautions required to ensure that people are adequately protected if a fire were still to occur. Therefore the main emphasis of the changes will be to move towards fire prevention. The Fire Risk Assessment must also take into consideration the effect a fire may have on anyone in or around your premises plus neighbouring properties. The building Fire Risk Assessment will also need to be kept under regular review. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will apply to all non-domestic properties, communal areas of blocks of flats and voluntary organisations and will be subject to monitoring and where appropriate enforcement by the Local Authority Fire Service (LAFS). Overall the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is intended to be less burdensome and clearer.
Summary of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- All existing fire legislation has now been repealed or revoked, which includes the Fire Precautions Act 1971, the amended 1997 Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations plus 100 other pieces of fire related legislation.
- Fire certificates have been abolished and are no longer issued.
- Responsible person(s) will be responsible for fire safety. They must conduct a fire risk assessment regardless of the size of the risk.
- The identified responsible person(s) would take full corporate liability.
- Extended scope of consideration now to include property safety, fire fighter safety and the environment around the site. The responsible person(s) would have a duty to protect all risks.
- Unlike the amended 1997 Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places emphasis on business continuity and containing and preventing the spread of small fires.
- Protection is explicitly extended to all occupants, which would include employees, visitors, contractors and passers-by who would all have to be considered in the fire risk assessment.
What are the implications for your business?
Now the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is in force, building fire safety will be solely risk assessment led, therefore all businesses regardless of size will have to conduct a comprehensive fire risk assessment to identify the following;
- Identify Fire Hazards (Sources of Ignition, Fuels and Oxygen).
- Suitable means of detecting & raising the alarm in the event of fire.
- Adequate emergency escape routes & exits.
- The appropriate type & sufficient quantities of fire extinguishers.
- Correct type & sufficient quantities of fire signs & notices.
- Provisions for the correct maintenance of installed fire equipment.
- Suitable provisions for the protection of LAFS personnel.
- Ensure that occupants receive the appropriate instruction / training in, e.g. actions to be taken in the event of fire and fire evacuation drills.
Who is the responsible person(s)?
- Employer with control of a workplace, Failing that or in addition;
- Person with overall management of a building.
- Occupier of premises, Owner of premises (i.e. empty buildings).
- Landlords (multi occupied buildings).
For further information on any aspect of your company Fire Safety Management system or Fire Risk Assessment or to discuss your individual requirements, please contact our office on 01935 412545 alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.