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Legislative Overview - A Guide to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
This Order is the Primary Legislation regarding fire safety and replaces the Fire
Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1996, both
of which have been replaced when the order came into force on 1st October 2006.
The Order applies to any place, with few exemptions, these are;
3.A ship (normal ship-board activities)
4.Fields, woods, agricultural land and forestry.
5.Aircraft, locomotive, rolling stock, trailer or semi-trailer.
The responsibility for ensuring the Order is complied with rests with: -'The Responsible
Person' In a workplace that Is the employer, providing the workplace is to any extent
under his/her control.
-Or 'The person who has control of the premises' (occupier or otherwise), whether
the undertaking is for profit or not.
-Or 'The owner'
In the majority of premises it will be fairly obvious who the responsible person
is, however there will be premises where the responsibility for fire safety rests
with a number of persons. For example where buildings are occupied by a number of
different businesses the responsible persons must co-operate with one another, as
well as the owner or managing agent for the building.
The order makes it clear that fire safety is not just the remit of the responsible
person, all employees have a duty to co-operate and to bring to the attention of
the employer any shortcomings in fire safety provisions that could affect relevant
The responsible person must consider the fire safety provisions and the safety of
all relevant persons with particular attention to those with special needs, young
persons and those not familiar with the building. In order to do this he or she must:-
•Carry out a fire safety risk assessment that considers not only his/her premises
but also any relevant persons in the vicinity who could be affected by a fire.
•The responsible person must appoint one or more competent persons to assist with
fire safety. Where there is a competent person(s) in his or her employment these
should be appointed in preference to a person not in their employment.
•Take steps to reduce the risk of a fire occurring. However, should a fire occur
then to reduce the chance of it spreading.
•Provide general fire precautions and policy and create an emergency plan.
•Implement any special measures and precautions that are necessary especially regarding
dangerous and or flammable substances.
•Establish a suitable means of contacting the emergency services and informing them
of relevant information regarding those dangerous substances.
•Consult with employees and or their representatives regarding fire safety.
•Ensure that employees receive adequate training regarding fire safety. Inform them
with clear and relevant information on any risks to them identified by the risk assessment
and how they will be protected in the event a fire occurs.
•Inform all non-employees as well as their employers (e.g. contract and temporary
workers) of the fire safety measures implemented and of any risks those workers may
be exposed to.
•Take special measures regarding the employment of young persons and inform their
parents or guardians about the risks and measures that have been taken. Ensure that
fire safety measures are maintained, (fire alarm, emergency lighting, fire-fighting
•Record the significant findings of the assessment and prepare an action plan (prioritised)
for dealing with those findings and if necessary implement temporary measures to
deal with any findings that require immediate attention.
•Monitor the effectiveness of the fire safety arrangements.
•Review the assessment periodically, after structural and managerial changes, after
changes in work practice or the introduction of new processes or machinery.
Fire statistics for 2003 stated that smoke detectors in the home failed to operate
in 12% of cases. However this overall figure masks a wide difference in performance
between battery powered alarms and mains powered alarms. 40% of all battery powered
smoke alarms failed to operate. The main reason for this was due to missing or flat
So the message is clear it is vital to select properly, install and adequately maintain
the smoke alarm.
Maintaining your smoke alarm
Once a week check the battery
Twice a year run a vacuum over the smoke sensor to remove any dust to prevent false
If a ten year battery is fitted record date in diary when new battery is required
Our Fire Safety Log Book contains useful advice on preventing fires and all about
maintaining and monitoring your fire prevention systems along with useful charts
for recording fire prevention activities.
You can download the Fire Safety Log Book by clicking on the link below:-