Wednesday 26 April 2017

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Fire Safety Legislation

From 1st October 2006 a change in legislation came into force across England, Wales and Scotland, which affects fire safety business, public and multi-tenancy residential premises. In England & Wales this was the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO) and in Scotland the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

The legislation requires that any business or organisation that employs the services of companies to design, install, commission and/or maintain their fire protection systems, take responsibility that they and the fire system comply with the legislation.

By contracting an NSI Fire Gold or Fire Silver approved company you can ensure the requirements of the legislation relevant to fire protection systems are met.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO)

What is the Fire Safety Order?
Introduced under the Regulatory Reform Order, the Fire Safety Order (England & Wales) aims to simplify, rationalise and consolidate the myriad of existing legislation.
This should also lead to an annual estimated total cost saving of approximating £1.7m for businesses, as fire certificates will no longer be required. Longer-term savings in excess of £100m should be achieved due to a reduction in workplace fires.

When did the Order take affect?
It came into force on 1st October 2006.

What are the Order’s requirements?
The Fire Safety Order requires that employers designate a ‘responsible person’ to carry out fire risk assessments that include:

  • the safety of employees and visitors to the site
  • fire fighter safety when entering the site during or following an incident
  • protection of property
  • employees’ job security
  • environmental impact

What are the implications for businesses?

  • fire certificates will no longer be issued
  • each individual company will be responsible for fire safety
  • all businesses must conduct Fire Risk Assessments which must be documented where there are five of more employees or the premises is licensed
  • fire officers will have greater authority to gain access to premises and remove samples following a fire
  • each location will have an identifiable 'responsible person' who takes full corporate responsibility
  • the 'responsible person' should contract a competent supplier, relevant to fire safety products and services, who has 'the appropriate skills and experience'. They should have proof of this so that it can be produced at an inspection, pre or post incident. Certification provided by an NSI Fire Gold or Fire Silver approved company achieves this

Who is the 'responsible person'?

  • the employer with control of the workplace or,
  • the person with overall responsibility for a building or,
  • the occupier of the premises or,
  • owners of premises such as empty buildings

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

The Act details the duties of the Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland which includes the promotion of community safety as well as responding to emergencies.

The Act also specifies who has responsibility for fire safety in non-domestic premises in Scotland. Details of requirements with regard to Fire Risk Assessments and fire safety measures are set out in the regulations.

Later amendments have been made to the Act and several statutory instruments made under the Act. An overview of Part 3 of the Act and associated subordinate legislation including the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and a fire safety guidence booklet can be viewed via the links below.

  • Fire (Scotland) Act 2005
  • Fire Safety Guidance Booklet