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Frequently asked questions

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Fire Safety Order) frequently asked questions.

Q. Should I wait for the Fire Officer to visit and identify any action required?

A. No. You will need to prepare a fire risk assessment and emergency plan.
The findings of the risk assessment must be recorded where:

  • A licence under an enactment is in force.

  • An Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order requires it.

  • You are an employer and have five or more employees.

The risk assessment must cover both employees and any other relevant person. This may include employees of other employers, as well as visitors, contractors etc. An inspecting officer will expect to see your risk assessment and emergency plan when an inspection is carried out.

Q. Who is the ‘responsible person’?

A. In a workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, for example, 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.

Q. Who is a ‘relevant person’?

A. Any person (including the responsible person) who is lawfully on the premises and any person in the vicinity of the premises who may be affected by a fire on the premises.

This means, for example, that if you store substances that are explosive when exposed to fire you may need to consider the occupants of nearby buildings, if they could be affected by an explosion or by any exclusion zone or cordon set up by the fire brigade because of the danger of explosion.

Q. I own a building, but I lease it out and have no direct involvement. Does the Fire Safety Order apply to me?

A. This will depend upon the terms of the lease. The Fire Safety Order applies to any person who has, to any extent, control of a premises. You should ensure your tenants are aware of the Fire Safety Order and cooperate with them to ensure compliance.

In multi-occupied buildings, the owner may have a responsibility in respect of common parts of the building and must prepare a fire risk assessment for those areas that is coordinated with those of the occupiers.

Q. Where can I find information on the legislation with details on how to comply?

A. Aside from the information provided on this web site, we strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of the relevant guidance document for your premises as listed in Fire Regulations. The documents set out the requirements of the Fire Safety Order in a simple, non-prescriptive, user-friendly style and offer advice about whether the responsible person needs to do anything more than they are already doing in order to comply.

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