Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The regulatory Reform (fire Safety) Order 2005 came into effect in October 2006. The Order applies to the majority of premises and workplaces in the UK. This Order consolidates the existing fire safety legislation (Fire Precautions Act 1971 & Fire precaution (workplace) regulation 1997 etc.
The Order also firmly places a responsibility on the Responsible Person and outlines all the measures that must be taken to ensure the safety of all the people he or she is directly or indirectly responsible for.
Enforcing Authorities are allowed to make sure that it is enacted (by force if necessary) and sets penalties if it is not. The person responsible must maintain a clear Means of Escape, Signs, Notices, Emergency Lighting, Fire detection, Alarms and Extinguishers.
A responsible Person is defined as the person who owns the premises or the person with control over the premises, business or activity.
There are six important actions every business must take to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:
- Conduct a fire risk assessment. (In writing if five or more people.) An appropriate fire detection and alarm system must be in place.
- Provide Fire Fighting Equipment. Portable fire extinguishers that comply with British Standards. Take measures to reduce the risk of fire spreading including appropriate use of fire resistant walls, fire doors kept in good order including seals and closing devices.
- Maintain and Test Fire Equipment. Maintenance of extinguishers, alarms and emergency lighting by a competent company. Regular checks and tests of alarms and emergency lighting.
- Ensure you provide an adequate means of escape, Maintain a clear signed passage on all escape routes. All exit routes must be kept clear. Consider arrangements for disabled people.
- Train your staff. Provide staff with training so they know what to do in the event of a fire, how to raise the alarm, how to use fire fighting equipment, what to do when the alarm is raised.
- Keep good records. Risk assessments, staff training, and copies of maintenance certificates.