ADVICE & OPINION
The principle legislation regarding fi re precautions in England and Wales In association with
is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Similar requirements
apply in Scotland under The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire (Scotland)
Regulations 2006. The Order has been in force since October 2006. 12 NOVEMBER 2019
The key points to note are:
There is no requirement to have a fire certificate,
the emphasis is on assessing and reducing risks
and producing a risk assessment.
There are duties placed on the responsible
person. The ‘Responsible Person’ is the employer
if the workplace is to any extent under his control
and is therefore normally a corporate body.
Duties are also placed on others (such as
Facilities Management Contractors or fire alarm
servicing companies) who have responsibility
under a contract or tenancy for maintaining
equipment or ensuring the safety of others.
The responsible person must:
Carry out a suitable and su icient risk
Take general fire precautions to ensure so
far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of
employees and ensure the premises are safe for
Ensure that there is an e ective fire policy,
allocated responsibility for fire matters and
adequate training of sta .
Ensure fire drills are undertaken.
Ensure correct firefighting equipment and fire
detection and alarm systems are provided.
Ensure appropriate signage is provided.
Arrange any necessary contacts with external
Ensure emergency routes lead directly to a
place of safety and emergency routes/exits are
provided and protected, adequately signed,
illuminated with emergency lighting where
required and kept clear at all times.
Ensure fire safety systems and
equipment are adequately
facilities provided for use
by the fire brigade such
as fire hydrants, smoke
and firefighting li s.
Nominate one or more
competent persons to
implement the measures.
Recommendations for employers
Ensure a fire risk assessment is carried out by a
competent person having regard to the size of the
building, the nature of the activities, all groups
at risk, the maximum number of employees
and other persons present at one time, any
substances or flammable materials including any
combustible external cladding system.
Carry out weekly tests on your fire alarm and
detection system using di erent call points
Ensure there is an e ective system of
maintenance and inspection of fire safety related
systems and equipment and that there is control
of building alterations which could prejudice fire
safety for example by services passing through
fire walls or floors without adequate fire stopping.
Carry out six monthly evacuation drills, ensuring
people can exit the building safely and quickly.
Ensure the correct firefighting equipment (and
sta trained in its use) is provided and arrange
for fire extinguishers and associated equipment
to be serviced annually by a competent person.
Ensure fire safety training is provided for
Ensure that fire doors are kept closed unless on
automatic release devices.
Ensure that there is a clear fire procedure and
arrangements for calling the Fire Brigade.
Control methods or risk reduction techniques
must be used to:
Provide a clear statement to workers that fire
precautions and protection/prevention is taken
seriously at all levels of the organisation.
Allocate clear management
responsibilities for fire prevention
and fire precautions.
on policy including
what is involved in all
areas of operation in
order to implement
appropriate and e ective
Monitor and review the fire risk assessment and
control measures to ensure ongoing e ectiveness.
Ensure all workers are aware of the risks of fire in
the work place and the likely e ects.
Provide information on the legal framework
surrounding fire precautions and prevention and
the employer/employees duties under them.
The main areas of health and safety law relevant to
Fire Precautions are:
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive
Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).
Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, as amended, and the
Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
November 2017, a London guest house owner was
prosecuted, under the Regulatory Reform Fire
Safety Order 2005, by the London Fire Brigade, fined
£250,000 and given a suspended six month prison
sentence. The prosecution followed an inspection
in 2014 where the London Fire Brigade found an
internal staircase had been removed, leaving
reliance on only an external staircase There were
also numerous other failings including inadequate
fire doors and no fire detection. A Prohibition Notice
was also served limiting the use of the three storey
premises to the ground floor.