NEW FIRE REGULATIONS FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2006
As part of Central Governments commitment to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has changed fire safety law with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) which came into effect on 1st October 2006.
Previously there were over 100 separate pieces of legislation dealing with fire safety, which included:
Fire Precautions Act 1971 Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amended) Regulations 1999.
The main change in the law is the move towards the prevention of fire rather than the extinguishment (although this will still be the primary function of your local Fire and Rescue Service).
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order applies to the following categories of premises:
- Offices and shops; Premises that provide care, including care homes and hospitals; Community halls, places of worship and other community premises; The shared areas of properties several households live in; Pubs, clubs and restaurants; Schools and sports centres Tents and marquees; Hotels and hostels; and Factories and warehouses.
It will not apply to;
- Peoples private homes, including individual flats in a block or house.
Fire Certificates (issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971) have now been abolished
and no longer have legal status. Under the RRFSO a “Responsible Person” needs to be appointed for each premises.
This person is now required to carry out or arrange to be carried out an assessment of the risks of fire and take such steps as are necessary to reduce or remove the risk.
This risk assessment will need to consider amongst other things;The safety of employees and visitors to a premises if a fire was to occur
The impact that a fire may have on nearby property and the environment
In addition to the Risk Assessment, the Responsible person must:
Consider who may be especially at risk
Get rid of or reduce the risk from fire as far as reasonably practicable and provide general fir precautions to deal with any possible risk left. This will include the following;Means of Escape