Do you need any help with Fire Safety?
We can assist your business with its fire safety requirements and can assist you with your fire safety risk assessments.
- Assist the Responsible Person
- Carry out Fire Risk Assessments
- Use the Fire Risk Assessment to create a Fire Safety Improvement Plan
- Help to create Emergency Procedures
- Provide suitable documentation for fire safety records
- Conduct simulated fire safety evacuations of your premises (fire drills)
- Review plans and drawings for planning applications
Fire Safety legislation
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (often known as the RRO or the RRFSO) came into effect in October 2006 and effectively replaced previous the plethora of fire safety legislation.
The RRO applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, including the common parts of blocks of flats or houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
The law applies to anyone who is:
- responsible for business premises
- offices and shops
- factories and warehouses
- premises that provide care
- community halls
- common areas of houses in multiple occupation
- pubs, clubs and restaurants
- hotels and hostels etc
- an employer or self-employed with business premises
- responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
- part of a charity or voluntary organisation
- a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
If the Fire Service visits your premises, they will want to know who the Responsible Person is for the premises and will want to speak to that person.
It is essential, therefore, that you have considered this point and have identified the Responsible Person and that that person is aware of their role and their responsibilities.
In simple terms: The Responsible Person is anyone who has control of premises or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems.
- the employer
- the managing agent or owner for shared parts of premises or shared fire safety equipment (such as fire extinguishers in the common parts, fire-warning systems, sprinklers etc)
- the occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations if they have any control, or
- any other person who has some control over a part of the premises
In many cases the responsible person will be obvious, but there will also be instances when a number of people have some responsibility.
In many industrial settings, the Responsible Person will be the employer.
In the case of multiple occupancy premises, each employer will be a Responsible Person and there may be an additional Responsible Person for the common or communal areas of the premises (such as the Owner of the site or the Managing Agent for the site).
Duties of the Responsible Person
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the duties of the Responsible Person include ensuring that the provisions of the Order are complied with.
While this creates duties and responsibilities, these can be simplified and distilled down to a few major points that act as a good starting point.
As the Responsible Person, you must make sure that you carry out a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA). This does not mean that you must do the assessment – you can pass the assessment task to some other Competent Person.
The Responsible Person must, so far as is reasonably practical, ensure that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape from the premises safely if there is a fire. This goes further than previous legislation as the Order creates a duty to consider everyone who might be on your premises, whether they are employees, visitors or members of the public.
Consideration must be given to people who may have a disability or anyone who may need special help. As the Responsible Person, you must manage any fire-risk in your premises.
Understanding the role and the importance of the Fire Risk Assessment
As with most aspects of modern safety management, risk assessment is a fundamental part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Good fire safety comes from an understanding of how and where a fire may start and this is then supported by implementing suitable controls measures to avoid, control or mitigate that risk.
These controls include: good housekeeping, maintenance of fire detection systems and fire fighting equipment; staff training; fire drills; etc.