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:
- Identify fire hazards – sources of ignition, sources of fuel, sources of oxygen
- Identify people at risk – people in and around the premises, people especially at risk
- 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
- Record, plan, inform, instruct and train – record significant findings and action taken, prepare emergency plan, inform and instruct relevant people, provide training
- Review – keep assessment under review, revise when necessary
- Preparing your fire risk assessments
- Developing your fire emergency plans
- Undertaking fire safety audits
- Delivering fire safety training to all levels (see range of training courses including practical training on use of extinguishers)