YOUR LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
What is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?
The government have introduced better regulation, by regulating only where necessary and in a manner that is more suited to the needs of modern business and commerce.
The RRO 2005 made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 replaces many of the references to fire safety in other legislation such as the Fire Precautions Act, Licensing Act and Housing Acts with a simple, single Order. It requires any person who exercises some level of control in premises to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and ensure occupants can safely escape if a fire does occur.
In such premises achieving fire safety is often a matter of common sense but you will have to ensure that sufficient time is put aside to work through the necessary steps. In more complicated premises or those with a high life risk more expert help may be required.
Who is responsible?
Under the Order, anyone who has control in a building or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be designated a "responsible person" for example:
The employer for those parts of premises they have any control over.
The managing agent or owner for common parts of a premises or common fire safety equipment such as fire warning systems or sprinklers.
The occupier of premises that are not workplaces such as a chairperson in a parish hall.
Any other person who has some control over a part of a premises may be the responsible person in so far as that control extends.
Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be occasions when a number of people have some responsibility.
You must provide appropriate information, instruction and training to your employees, during their normal working hours, about the fire precautions and the fire equipment in the workplace, when they start working for you, and from time to time throughout the period they work for you.
If extinguishers are installed, people should be trained to use them effectively and safely.
You must appoint one or more competent persons, depending on the size and use of your premises, to carry out any of the preventive and protective measures required (you can nominate yourself for this purpose). A competent person is someone with enough training, experience and knowledge to be able to implement these measures properly.
You must provide your employees with clear and relevant information on the risks to them identified by the fire risk assessment, about the measure you have taken to prevent fires, and how these measures will protect them if a fire breaks out.
You must consult your employees about nominating people to carry out particular roles in connection with fire safety and about proposals for improving the fire precautions.
We believe properly trained staff are invaluable to a business or organisation. They are more likely to react appropriately and more quickly if they discover a fire, and more likely to obey company fire safety procedures. Trained personnel are also more likely to report fire safety hazards that may lead to the outbreak of fire.
Fires devastate lives, property and business. Nearly 1 in 5 businesses suffer a major disruption every year. 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close within a month. Since 2000 there has been a 24% increase in the total cost of fire in the UK to £7.7bn. The cost of arson has increased by 32% to £2.9bn. The management of fire risk not only ensures compliance with legislation but linked to business continuity planning contributes to the overall resilience of the business.