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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Fire Safety Order will apply across England and Wales
(Northern Ireland and Scotland will have their own laws)

The New Fire Regulations came into effect on the 1st October 2006 and have a greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises

Fire certificates will no longer be issued and will cease to have legal status

The new regulations cover 'general fire precautions' and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect 'relevant persons' in case of fire in and around most 'premises'

Responsibility/Liability for complying with the Fire Safety Order will rest with:-

The 'Responsible Person'

In a workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, eg the occupier or owner. In all other premises the person or people in control of the premises will be responsible. If there is more than one responsible person in any type of premises, all must take all reasonable steps to work with each other

If you are the responsible person you will have to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as the elderly or disabled and those with special needs

The Responsible Person must:-

  • Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and identify possible dangers and risks
  • Think about who might be particularly at risk
    (perhaps you have disabled employees/visitors, or people who work with hazardous chemicals
    )
  • Get rid of the risk from fire, as far as reasonably possible
  • Put in place fire precautions to deal with any risks that remain
  • Make sure there is protection if you use or store flammable or explosive materials
  • Have a plan to deal with emergencies
  • Record your findings and review them as and when necessary

>>>> If you employ five or more people this must be a written fire risk assessment

The enforcing authority, which is usually the local fire authority, must be fully satisfied with your fire safety precautions. If they find any major problems they can restrict the use of your premises or close the premises down until the problems have been corrected

Fire Fighting Equipment:

Portable Fire Extinguishers should be provided, these should be serviced Annually by a contractor, (preferably accredited to ISO 9000:2000) in accordance with BS 5306: Part 3, the Occupier should also carry out their own routine, not less than quarterly and preferably Monthly visual inspections of the fire extinguishers and a record of all contractor/occupier service work/tests/inspections should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Depending on your type of business and the outcome of your risk assessment, other specialist fire fighting equipment may be required

Fire Detection and Warning System:

An audible means of raising the alarm is required in case of fire, the system must be capable of warning all people within all areas of a building
You need to decide and consult with the various regulations on the type of fire detection system that is suitable for your premises, before installing any new fire detection system, you are advised to discuss your proposals with your local fire authority

The fire detection system should be serviced by a contractor in accordance with BS 5839: Part 1 and the manufacturers instructions, at least Six Monthly (the minimum requirements of BS 5389) and the Occupier should also carry out their own Daily Visual inspections and Weekly Testing of the system and a record of all contractor/occupier service work/tests/inspections and any faults if they arise should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Emergency Lighting:

Where required emergency lighting should be installed so that in the event of a total power failure, all emergency escape routes remain lit, so to aid safe evacuation from the building, this should be serviced and maintained by a contractor in accordance with BS 5266: Part 1 and the manufacturers instructions, the occupier should also carry out their own Daily Visual inspections and Monthly Functional Testing of the system and a record of all contractor/occupier service work/tests/inspections should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Means of Escape:

Arrangements need to be put in place to safely evacuate your premises in the event of an emergency, these measures form an important part of your emergency plan
All parts of a premises used as a means of escape need to be kept clear at all times, inspected and maintained on a regular basis and a record of all inspections (doors and escape routes) should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Fire Drills:

Should be carried out at least Annually and preferably twice per year simulating conditions in which one or more of the escape routes is obstructed. During these drills the fire alarm should be sounded and the fire routine rehearsed as fully as circumstances allow. Everyone must participate in the fire drill and the results of each fire drill recorded in your Fire Log Book

Instruction and Training:

You must provide all employees with instruction and training so that they know what to do in the event of a fire, everyone must know:-

  • The action to be taken on discovering a fire
  • How to Raise the Alarm if they discover a fire
  • The action to be taken upon hearing the fire alarm
  • The procedure for alerting members of the public
  • The arrangements for calling the Fire Brigade
  • The evacuation procedure for the premises to an assembly point at a place of safety
  • The location and how to use the Fire Fighting Equipment (if safe to do so)
  • The location of all escape routes
  • The reason for not using lifts other than those specifically provided or adapted for use by people with disabilities in accordance with BS 5588: Part 8
  • General fire precautions and good housekeeping
(If the term 'Employee' is not applicable the regulations state that "where fire protection equipment is provided, all persons should be trained in the correct and safe use of all the equipment)

A record of all instruction/training should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Hose Reels:

Should be tested by a contractor in accordance with BS EN 671: Part 3
The occupier should also carry out their own regular checks of the equipment to ensure its correct operation in the event of a fire and a record of all contractor/occupier service work/tests/inspections should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Sprinkler Systems:

Should be tested by a contractor in accordance with BS 5306: Part 2 and BS EN 12845
A weekly inspection is required as well as a automatic pump starting test and a record of all contractor/occupier service work/tests/inspections should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Dry Rising Mains:

A Six Monthly inspections should be carried out as well as Annual wet tests by a contractor in accordance with BS 9990 and a record of all contractor/occupier service work/tests/inspections should be recorded in the Fire Log Book

Extensions and Alterations to Buildings:

If your premises are subject to any building work or alterations, perhaps it is just being built, extended, materially altered or subject to a relevant change of use, you will need to ensure that all work/s comply fully with the Building Regulations
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