The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (referred to as “the Order”) came into force on 1 October 2006. The Order, made under the Regulatory Reform Act, replaced many existing pieces of legislation including the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 with a simple, single piece of legislation.
The Order imposes an onus on the person responsible for the premises to provide and maintain sufficient fire precautions so that people can work in safety, or escape safely in the event of a fire or other serious event. A ”premises” is defined as a building or workplace. It may include any shared areas or common parts of the building such as staircases and corridors, and shared facilities such as fire alarm and sprinkler systems.
The Order tells us that the meaning of ‘responsible person’ for this purpose is:
(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control.
(b) in relation to any premises that are not a workplace:
i. the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or
ii. the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking. When considering who has control, it should be remembered that legally the overall
Responsible Person may be an organisation such as a Limited Company, rather than a person. Additionally, the Order is imposed on every person who has, to any extent, control of the premises so far as the requirements relate to those matters within their control.
PREMISES TO WHICH THE ORDER DOES NOT APPLY
Certain premises and sites have fire safety requirements imposed by other legislation. The following premises are exempt from the requirements of the Order:
Single private dwellings;
Any aircraft; locomotive or rolling stock etc which is in use as a means of transport;
Mines; other than any building on the surface of a mine;
A borehole site to which the Borehole Sites and Operations Regulations 1995 apply;
Agricultural or forestry land which is not inside a building and is situated away from the undertaking’s
Offshore installations (workplaces to which the Offshore Installations and Pipelines Work
(Management and Administration) Regulations 1995 apply);
Ships and boats, in respect of the normal ship-board activities carried out by the master and crew of that ship.
All other types of premises must comply with the Order.
If you require further clarification on whether your premises must comply with the Order please contact your local Fire Safety Office.
Firecheck services (uk) Ltd can carryout or help assist you with your fire risk assessments. Please contact our office for further details.