Regulatory Reform Order 2005
If you own, manage or operate a business, you will need to comply with fire safety law. The main law is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 or ‘the Fire Safety Order’ which applies across England and Wales.
The Order applies to virtually all buildings, places and structures other than individual private dwellings e.g. individual flats in a block or family homes, and it is your responsibility to make sure your workplace reaches the required standard and employees are provided with adequate fire safety training. Other places covered by the Order include shared areas (entrance, stairs etc.) of homes of multiple occupation (HMOs) and common parts of blocks of flats and maisonettes.
The Fire Safety Order places the emphasis on risk reduction and fire prevention. Under the Order, people responsible for commercial buildings, such as the employer, owner, or any other person who has control of any part of the premises, are required to carry out a mandatory detailed fire risk assessment identifying the risks and hazards in the premises. The person responsible for the premises is also required to:
- Consider who may be especially at risk
- Eliminate or reduce risk from fire as far as is reasonably practical and provide general fire precautions to deal with any risk
- Take additional measures to ensure fire safety where flammable or explosive materials are used or stored
- Create a plan to deal with any emergency, and where necessary record any findings
- Maintain general fire precautions and facilities provided for use by fire-fighters.
- Record and resolve any findings of the risk assessment and continually review
A fire risk assessment is essential to keep everyone in your premises safe. The findings of the risk assessment must be recorded where:
- You are an employer of five or more people
- A licence under an enactment is in force
- An alteration notice under the Fire Safety Order is required
Five steps to carrying out a risk assessment:
- Identify fire hazards
- Identify the people at risk
- Evaluate the risks, remove or reduce where you can
- Record your findings, prepare an evacuation plan and provide training
- Review and update the assessment regularly
A risk assessment should be carried out by someone who has had sufficient training, and has good experience or knowledge of fire safety. Cleveland Fire Brigade follows the National Fire Chiefs Council guidance aligned to The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC) who have published:
- GOV.UK Fire risk assessments (includes assessment guides for different premises)
- Fire Safety Log Book (PDF)
- Challenges, Appeals and Complaints procedures (PDF)