The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 replaces all previous fire legislation, it requires all non-domestic premises to appoint a ‘responsible person’ to conduct a fire risk assessment.
Who is a responsible person?
Under the Order, anyone who has control in a building or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be designated a "responsible person" for example:
- The employer for those parts of premises they have any control over.
- The managing agent or owner for common parts of a premises or common fire safety equipment such as fire warning systems or sprinklers.
- The occupier of premises that are not workplaces such as a chairperson in a parish hall.
- Any other person who has some control over a part of a premises may be the responsible person in so far as that control extends.
Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be occasions when a number of people have some responsibility.
Performing a thorough risk assessment and acting on your findings will help to reduce risks, ensure compliance with legislation and could save lives.
The 5 steps of a risk assessment
The following is a summary of the 5 steps you will need to go through to carry out a fire risk assessment within your premises, click on each step to see more information:
Step 1 - Identify fire hazards
You need to identify:
- Sources of ignition such as naked flames, heaters or some commercial processes.
- Sources of fuel such as accumulated waste, display materials, textiles or overstocked products.
- Sources of additional oxygen such as forced air circulation or medicinal or commercial oxygen supplies.
Step 2 - Identify people especially at risk
You will need to identify those people who may be especially at risk such as:
- People working in close proximity to fire hazards.
- People working alone or in isolated areas (such as roof spaces or storerooms).
- Children or parents with babies.
- The elderly or infirm and people who are disabled
Step 3 - Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risks
Evaluate the level of risk in your premises. You should remove or reduce hazards where possible and reduce any risks you have identified, such as:
- Replace highly combustible materials with less combustible ones.
Step 4 - Record, plan, instruct, inform and train
In this step you should record, plan, instruct, inform and train. You will need to record the hazards and people you have identified as especially at risk in Step 1 and Step 2. You should also record what you did about it in Step 3. A simple plan can help you achieve this.
You will also need to make an emergency plan, tailored to your premises. It should include the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire in your premises or any adjoining premises. Staff, and occasionally others, such as volunteers or members of the congregation will need to be provided with instructions.
All employees should receive adequate information and training about the risks in the premises. Some, such as fire marshals, will require more thorough training.
Step 5 - Review
You should make sure your fire risk assessment is up to date, you will need to re-examine your fire risk assessment every time there is a significant change to the level of risk in your premises. This could include an increase in change in the type or number of people using your premises.
For further information and assessment forms visit the following websites.
For small and medium places of assembly
For large places of assembly
NOTE: there are separate regulations relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
For Scotland visit:http://www.infoscotland.com/firelaw
For Northern Ireland visit: http://www.nifrs.org/fire_safety.php