Fire safety law and legislation

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Fire Safety Regulations in the UK can sometimes feel confusing and even contradictory.

Find below our guides to the UK’s current fire safety laws and legislation.

Fire Safety Order

All fire safety legislation in England and Wales is gathered under The Regulatory (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 

It was designed to simplify the existing legal requirements at the time.  All premises used for non-domestic purposes, with a few small exceptions, fall under these regulations.

Every business must have a designated ‘Responsible Person’. Their job is to makes sure certain duties are carried out to prevent fires and  injury or death if a fire actually occurs.

As there are nearly twenty thousand commercial fires in the UK each year, these are important duties that should be taken seriously.  It is recommended that the ‘Responsible Person’ uses a professional fire safety business to help deliver their business’s requirements.


Fireworks and explosives licensing

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service licences the storage of fireworks and explosives.  In most cases where an individual or business is:

  • acquiring,
  • keeping,
  • transferring,
  • storing
  • and/or manufacturing explosives,
  • an explosives licence will be required in accordance with The Explosive Regulations 2014.

Petroleum licensing

Petrol is a dangerous substance.  Storage and use of petrol in workplaces is covered by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).  Dispensing petrol into a vehicle is covered by other legislation and in addition requires a licence.


Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 applies to premises which are used for:

  • the sale or supply of alcohol,
  • providing regulated entertainment,
  • or late night refreshments.

The Licensing Act 2003 requires the Licensing Authority (Cornwall Council) to consult with:

  • the Fire Authority (Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service)
  • on matters relating to public safety (fire safety).

Housing Fire Safety - LINK TO FOLLOW JT

This page is intended to give you an idea which (if any) law applies to a dwelling to protect relevant persons in case of fire.  The advice on this page is not intended to be a definitive guide, or a substitute for competent advice that should be sought specifically based on your property.


The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires landlords to:

  • Install and check smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms

Public Risk Register

As part of our work to keep Cornwall safe, we carry out visits, inspections and audit fire safety measures in non-domestic premises. If we discover circumstances that could make premises unsafe, we can take action and issue legal notices. This requires the responsible person to take action, usually within a specified time, to ensure the premises are safe. All of our notices are displayed on the Public Risk Register.

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