The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Gov.uk) covers general fire safety in England and Wales.
Who is responsible?
Fire Safety law in the UK applies to any place (though there are a few exceptions, including domestic premises). The law requires the ‘Responsible Person’ to ensure the safety of people in the event of fire.
The Responsible Person in a workplace is an employer. If it is not a workplace the ‘Responsible Person’ is the occupier or the building owner.
A ‘Responsible Person’ must ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment has been completed and is kept up to date.
Please use a Fire Safety Log Book (Word, 85KB) which will help you prove compliance with Fire Safety Regulations. It should be completed following the inspection, testing or maintenance of any of the Fire Safety provisions required by the Fire Safety law.
Fire Safety Laws are changing
The Fire Safety Order will change from 1 October 2023 when amendments included in the Building Safety Act come into force.
These changes will affect all premises covered by the Fire Safety Order and expand the requirements placed on the responsible person for the premises.
The main changes are:
- A requirement for all fire risk assessments to be recorded – this means that your fire risk assessment must be written down
- A requirement to record the details of the person who has made the fire risk assessment for the premises - if you use an outside company you must also record the organisation they work for
- A requirement for fire safety arrangements to be recorded – your fire safety arrangements are how you plan, monitor and review the fire safety measures you have in place. Fire safety arrangements include:
- Emergency Procedures
- Testing and maintenance of fire alarms, emergency lighting, firefighting equipment and fire doors
- Records of staff training
- If your business operates in a multi-occupied premises you must take steps to identify other responsible persons in the building – this includes the landlord, any management company and other businesses operating in the same premises
- If you sell or transfer your business you must pass on fire safety information to the person or organisation taking over the business
There are additional requirements for residential properties that have more than one dwelling – this includes some houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and blocks of flats.
There is a requirement to provide residents with the following information:
- Any risks to residents identified in the fire risk assessment
- The fire safety measures provided to ensure residents are safe – for example what measures you have in place to prevent fire spreading, any fire alarm system and what to do in the event of a fire
- Your name and a UK address
- The identity of any person you have appointed to assist you with making or reviewing the fire risk assessment
- The identity of any competent person you have to implement firefighting measures
- Any risks to relevant persons throughout the building that have been identified by other Responsible Persons in the building – for example if there is a commercial premises in the same building
You also have responsibilities under the Fire Safety England Regulations to provide information to residents, and may have other responsibilities - to find out more visit The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 - Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service.
The Government has also produced guidance on the changes to the Fire Safety Order which you can read on the gov.uk website.