The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) came into effect in October 2006.

The FSO applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, including the common parts of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The law applies to you if you are:

  • responsible for business premises
  • an employer or self-employed with business premises
  • responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
  • a charity or voluntary organisation
  • a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
  • providing accommodation for paying guests

Fire risk assessment

Under the FSO, the responsible person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan.

A Fire Risk Assessment involves a trained consultant visiting the premises and carrying out a detailed inspection the building and work processes.  A written report is then produced detailing the findings of the assessment, together with recommendations for remedial actions.

There are five basic steps in completing a fire risk assessment:

  1. Identify fire hazards – sources of ignition, sources of fuel, sources of oxygen
  2. Identify people at risk – people in and around the premises, people especially at risk
  3. Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk – evaluate risk of fire occurring, evaluate risk to people from fire, remove or reduce fire hazards, remove or reduce the risks to people taking into account detection & warning, fire-fighting equipment, escape routes, lighting, signs and notices, maintenance
  4. Record, plan, inform, instruct and train – record significant findings and action taken, prepare emergency plan, inform and instruct relevant people, provide training
  5. Review – keep assessment under review, revise when necessary

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