What is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?
In the previous years, the Fire Precautions (workplace) Regulations 19976/1999 Act 1961 and the Fire Precautions Act 1961 were the two most important out of the seventy pieces of fire safety laws in the United Kingdom. As a result, in 2001, a decision made to simplify the legislation. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in Wales and England played a crucial role in achieving this goal.
The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and several other important fire safety papers were enacted in Scotland as independent fire service and fire safety laws. In 2010, the Fire Safety Regulations were brought in in Northern Ireland.
When did it come into force?
This article will provide a general outlook of the law. In the following parts of this document, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will be cited as the Order. On October 1st, 2006, the Order became effective. With only a few exceptions, the Order aims to ensure a minimum level of fire protection in all non-residential buildings. It states that every building in the UK much have a Responsible Person in the workplace (RP). If someone else has any level of influence, they may be subject to the Order’s provisions. Therefore it is important that anyone with some form of responsibility has some fire safety training. Outside a workplace, the Responsible Person can be anyone who has control to some extent, including the owner. Those individuals, or someone acting on their behalf, are responsible for ensuring that general fire precautions are met, as well as undertaking a fire risk assessment. There must be a written fire risk assessment if six or more people are employed. However, it is highly recommended that a Fire Risk Assessment is written for any building.
General fire safety laws that existed previously
This Order repealed the previous fire safety law. Therfore bringing all previous laws under one law. Any fire certificates issued under the last Fire Precautions Act 1971 are no longer valid. It is less likely that one will require to create any profound advancements to their current physical fire protection deal to conform with the Order if they had received a fire certificate in respect of their building or the building were constructed to current building regulations, considering that no material modifications have been made.
However, one is still required to do a fire risk assessment and ensure that it is constantly updated. It helps verify that all fire precautions in their building are current and influential.
Article 17 of the legislation states a need to have an adequate maintenance regime. This includes fire doors. An adequate maintenance regime for fire doors would include regular inspections and maintenance.
The exact wording used is as follows:
Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the responsible person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided… are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
Article 18 states that the responsible person must employ a ‘competent person’ to assist with fire safety measures. A competent person is someone with relevant training and qualifications relating to the field in which they are assisting.
The exact wording is as follows:
The responsible person must, subject to paragraphs (6) and (7), appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the preventive and protective measures.
Failure to comply with the Fire Safety Order
If you fail to comply with the Fire Safety Order you are likely to face fines and prison sentences. There have been many high profile cases since the legislation was passed. Many high street retailers and the main supermarket chains have fallen foul of the legislation at some point. Thus we can see that the Fire Safety Order is regularly enforced.
However, many independent businesses and individuals are given fines, and prison sentences. Unbelievably, a company that provided fire risk assessments was caught out.