MEL Health and Safety Consultants

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

An Introduction to the Law

The new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) will come into force on the 1st October 2006. This legislation applies to all workplaces.

This new piece of legislation repeals the following current legislation:

  • The Fire Precautions Act 1971. 
  • The Fire Precautions (Special Premises) Regulations 1976. 
  • The Fire precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 & 1999. 
  • Some sections of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (As amended 2003).

The main points include:

  • The need for a Fire Certificate for certain premises is no longer required.
  • The onus will fall on the occupier, employer or person who has control of the premises, this person is known as the ‘responsible person’, to ensure that the arrangements for fire safety are suitable and sufficient to the risk.
  • The ‘responsible person’ has a duty to ensure that general fire safety precautions are implemented for the protection of employees and for others who may be affected by a fire in the premises.

  • The ‘responsible person’ must ensure that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment is prepared for the premises.

  • The ‘responsible person’ must ensure that appropriate steps are taken to reduce the risks of ignition or have taken steps to limit the spread, growth and impact of a fire.

  • The ‘responsible person’ must ensure that adequate and suitable means are provided, giving warning in the event of a fire, for the escape from a fire and for fire fighting.

  • Any equipment, fixed or portable, used for fighting fires must always be kept in an operational condition.
  • There are no changes to the powers of an Enforcing Officer. They could still issue improvement or prohibition notices or even prosecute.