New Fire Safety Regulations October 2006
New Fire Safety regulations came into force on 1st October 2006. The new fire safety legislation bringing about these changes is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO) 2005. The aim of this order is to simplify, rationalise and consolidate existing UK fire legislation, and to shift the emphasis of fire prevention and the reduction of risk to employers/businesses from the fire authorities. This risk-based approach to fire safety is designed to allow for more efficient and effective enforcement of the fire safety regulations by the fire authorities.
Essentially, the main difference pre and post Oct 1st is that Fire Certificates will no longer be issued, and businesses will have to carry out their own Fire Risk Assessments. Anyone who has control of premises or anyone with a degree of control over certain areas in a workplace will be identified a "responsible person" and be expected to assess fire safety for the relevant area(s). For full details of what is required for fire safety risk assessment please click on the sub-category page link above.
Under the main rules of the Fire Safety order you must:
- Carry out a fire-risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks;
- Consider who may be especially at risk;
- Get rid of or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonable possible and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risk left;
- Take other measures to make sure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored;
- Create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, keep a record of your findings; and
- Review your findings when necessary.
The Fire Safety Order will apply across England and Wales to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space. For example:
- offices and shops
- premises that provide care
- community halls
- common areas of houses in multiple occupation
- pubs, clubs and restaurants
- tents and marquees
- hotels and hostels
- factories and warehouses
But it excludes purely domestic premises occupied by a single family group.