Fire Safety Legislation - Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
Last updated: 29/04/2013
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Regulatory reform (Fire safety) order
The Fire safety Order was bought into force on 1st
October 2006. It is now the only piece of fire legislation that
applies to non-domestic premise (with a few minor exceptions).
What are the key points?
- Simplified the law by having a single piece of legislation that
applies to all non-domestic premises
- Based fire safety on risk assessment making it less
prescriptive and bringing it into line with other health and safety
- Puts the responsibility for fire safety on the employer or the
person in control of the premises.
- Made the Fire Authority the single enforcing authority for the
Fire Safety Order (with a few exceptions)
Some important concepts you should know
“Responsible Person” – the “responsible person”
concept is hierarchical. It starts with the employer; if someone is
employed on a premises the employer is responsible for compliance
with the Fire Safety Order. If no-one is employed, such as village
halls, scout huts etc, it is the person in control of the premises.
Finally, if it is neither of those it is the owner of the
“Relevant Persons” - relevant persons are
people who are lawfully on the premises or in the vicinity of the
premises and may be affected by fire. The Responsible Person must
include all these people when doing the risk assessment
General Fire Precautions – general fire
precautions are the back bone of the fire safety order and inform
the responsible person about the measures they must take to comply
with the order. The measures include, means of escape, fire
fighting equipment, emergency lighting, fire detection and warning
and emergency plans. It also includes measures to reduce the risk
of fire and the risk of it spreading.
Passive fire protection (or protective
measures) - Passive fire protection stops
fire from spreading through a building and includes the fire
resistance of walls, doors, ceilings and floors. The design of a
building is integral to its passive fire protection which is why
you must check with building control before making any
structural changes to the building. The primary function of passive
fire protection is to keep the fire in the room of origin.
Preventive measures – Preventive measures are
all the measures taken to prevent a fire from occurring and would
include maintenance of electrical systems and equipment,
controlling ignition sources and heat sources, and controlling
Fire Risk assessment – Please refer to our
fire risk assessment page for more information
What does the Responsible person have to
There are a number of duties under the Fire safety Order and for
more detailed information you should read the HM Government Risk
Assessment Guides. Here are some of the main duties.
The responsible person must:
- conduct a full fire risk assessment of the premises
- provide employees with information on the significant findings
of your risk assessment.
- Provide information to other relevant people coming onto the
- Co-operate with other users or occupiers of the premises.
- Control all dangerous substances on the premises
- Maintain all your fire precautions.
Employees must co-operate with the responsible person to ensure
the workplace is safe from fire and its effects.
Where to get more information
You can contact a fire safety officer, or
alternatively please look at our useful links which should direct you to some
Cornwall Fire and Rescue