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Legislation

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was effective as from October 2006.

It replaces and consolidates more than seventy pieces of fire legislation.

The Order applies to all commercial and non-domestic premises and buildings in England and Wales. This includes the shared areas in blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation e.g. stairs, entrances etc.

The Order is applicable if you or your organisation is:

  •   Responsible for commercial or business premises
  •   An employer or self employed with commercial or business premises
  •   Responsible for part of a private dwelling used for commercial or business premises
  •   A charity or voluntary organisation
  •   A contractor with responsibility for any premises providing accommodation for paying guests, for example

Anyone who has part or complete responsibility for commercial and non-domestic premises and buildings in England and Wales is obliged to take reasonable steps to minimise fire risk and maximise escape in the event of a fire.

The Order requires that commercial and non-domestic premises and buildings in England and Wales identify a responsible person to carry out these obligations. The responsible person has control for fire prevention systems and fire escape.

The Order defines a responsible person as (Part 2):

  •   An employer, in the case of a workplace
  •   Person with control of premises in connection with their carrying out of a trade, business or other undertaking, whether for    profit or not
  •   The owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with their carrying out of a    trade, business or other undertaking, whether for profit or not


The Order defines fire safety measures maintenance duties as (Part 2,17.1 and 2):
  •   Safeguarding the safety of relevant persons
  •   Ensure the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices are maintained as
  •   A suitable system of maintenance, in an efficient state, efficient working order and good repair


It is estimated that over 35% of offices are unaware of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requirements, and more than 33% are failing in their fire risk assessment obligations (BSE, May 2009).



 
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