Explained: The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
What is it?
The Regulatory Reform Order was made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 to suit modern business needs better, regulating fire safety only where necessary. It dictates that anyone who has a level of control in premises must take reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of fire, and to make sure that people can safely escape in the case of a fire.
Although fire safety is often common sense, in some more complicated premises such as hospitals, professional help may be required to properly carry out a full fire-risk assessment.
Where does this apply?
The order applies to nearly all premises, barring private homes, including individual flats. It covers any public building or structure, such as offices, shops, care homes, restaurants, schools, factories, tents, factories and more.
Who is responsible for meeting the order?
Those responsible are anyone who has control of the premises or a degree of control over particular areas. This could include:
- the employer
- the occupier of a premises
- anyone else who holds a level of responsibility within the building
This can mean that in some cases, more than one person could be responsible for meeting the order.
What are the rules?
Anyone deemed the responsible person (see above) must carry out a fire-risk assessment of the premise, and identify any potential risks. This is done by identifying any sources of ignition (naked flames, heaters etc), fuel (waste material, textiles, overstocked products) or oxygen (air conditioning, medical oxygen tanks). Upon evaluation, the person responsible should remove or reduce the risk of fire by replacing any highly flammable materials, and keeping flammables well away from any sources of ignition. Precautions should also be taken in the form of a fire detection systems and fire extinguishers in place to fight fire.
Measures should also be taken to ensure there is an emergency plan in place that allows all persons to safely evacuate the building in the case of a fire. Those less able or who may need additional help should also be considered and accommodated for to ensure they have a safe route out the premise in the case of an emergency evacuation, including people working near to fire dangers, isolated workers, children and the elderly or disabled. Everyone should be informed of evacuation plans should they need to be used.
Who enforces the order?
Your local fire authority enforces all fire-safety legislation, with resources targeted at premises deemed to be high risk.
You will be provided with practical advice or a formal notice if you do not meet the order to ensure that the correct level of fire safety is achieved.
You can find more information about the regulatory reform order here.
Cheshire Fire are a leading supplier and installer of fire safety equipment for the Cheshire Region. For further advice, or information on the services we offer, contact our expert team today.