Help and Guidance
Fire safety management is a legal requirement for every non domestic property across the Country.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, usually referred to as the Fire Safety Order (FSO), can affect significant penalties and prosecutions and are aggressively pursued by the Enforcing Authorities. It is therefore imperative that businesses and individuals are aware of the regulations and their obligations.
In England and Wales the responsibility for fire safety falls to the "Responsible Person(s)", someone who has control, or a degree of control, over premises and fire-prevention systems within premises. They are also responsible for the safety of every legal occupant.
Duties of the Responsible Person(s)
The Responsible Person(s) must use their best endeavours to ensure everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape safely in the event of a fire and, must pay particular attention to those who may need extra help or suffer a disability. Some of the other duties of a Responsible Person are:
- Carry out a fire risk assessment and identify possible hazards and risks.
- Ensure there are appropriate fire safety arrangements, fire safety policy and procedures.
- Provide adequate training.
- Provide adequate means of escape in the case of a fire.
- Regularly review all these procedures and amend if necessary.
- Ensure that premises and any protective measures are maintained.
New offences under the FSO
An offence created under the FSO is the failure of a Responsible Person to comply with fire safety duties "where that failure places one or more relevant persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire".Individuals may also face prosecution where a company is found guilty, as a Responsible Person, for a breach of the FSO and that breach is, "proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer".
However, the potential for harm if there were to be a fire may be considered to be just as important as harm actually caused. The test is whether the potential for harm exists if a fire is adequately managed.
If your knowledge of fire safety is limited then download and read the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 - A short guide to making your premises safe from fire.
The Department for Communities and Local Government have produced guidance documents to support UK business and help them understand their responsibilities. These are free to download from the DCLG website, or can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationary Office (HMSO) for a nominal cost.
If you wish to see the statutory order in full then click on the following link Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 No. 1541.
All the help you may require can be found in the government guidance documents above. If however you are unable to find what you need, please view our Frequently Asked Questions page. Failing that, then email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.