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Fire Safety Regulatiions

Fire Safety Regulations UK

Fire safety regulations are enshrined in law and apply to all workplaces for dwellings and houses of multiple occupancies (HMOs). The responsible person for fire safety must understand the legislation to ensure compliance with the correct procedures.

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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Fire Safety Regulations - It's the law

Fire safety regulations are in place to provide governance for fire safety matters. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 aimed to assemble and consolidate all general fire safety legislation.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to almost all buildings and structures. The intent was to make fire safety information more accessible and less confusing to businesses. The reform also reduced the number of authorities to enforce fire safety matters.

“You are responsible under the Act if you are an Employer, Landlord, Owner, Occupier, or anyone else in control of the premises, such as a facilities manager.”

As the responsible person, you must:

  • carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • put in place, and maintain appropriate fire safety measures
  • plan for an emergency
  • provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training.”
Planning to achive fire safety compliance
Fire Risk Assessment

The First Step in Fire Safety

fire risk assessment (FRA) is one of the essential steps for achieving e compliance with fire safety regulations. The fire risk assessment (FRA) should follow a set procedure to help identify fire hazards and the risk to people and property. The FRA should be carried out annually, and a ‘written record kept’ if a business has more than five people.

Download your Free Fire Risk Assessment Template

Eliminate Fire Risks if Possible

The goal is to evaluate and eliminate all risks if possible. The responsible person must then record the findings. It is also necessary at this stage to produce an emergency plan which should consider the following items:

Fire Risk Assessment
Fire safety regulations must be followed for compliance
Responsible Person

As stated in the Fire Safety Order, the responsible person is the employer or ‘the person who has control of the premises.’ In some cases, the responsible person may be the facilities manager or the occupier. If the responsible person is not known to you, then it is possible that fire safety responsibilities are not being undertaken safely following UK statutory law.

Fire Safety Accreditation

Meaning of “responsible person.”

  1. In this Order, “responsible person” means—

(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;

(b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)

(i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

(ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertakings.

It is vitally important that the responsible person for fire safety understands their duties under the law. If you are in any doubt about any elements of fire safety on your premises, please get in touch with us, and we will be able to advise you and help you achieve compliance.

Guide to Making Your Premises Safe from Fire

Fire Extinguishers
Fire Fighting Equipment

Several different types of firefighting equipment can be found in your workplace for use in the event of a fire. However, it is essential to note the importance of training on using this type of equipment correctly.

Only trained personnel should use fire safety equipment.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguisher maintenance

The design of fire extinguishers enables them to tackle specific types of fire. There are several different types of fire extinguishers designed to deal with varying classifications of fire:

  • CO2: CO2 extinguishers are ideal for fires involving electrical equipment.
  • Water: Standard water extinguishers only deal with Class A fires.
  • Water Additive: Water Additive extinguishers are similar to traditional water extinguishers, designed to tackle Class A fires. However, chemical additives make these extinguishers more effective.
  • AFFF Foam: AFFF Foam extinguishers are a practical option for A and B-class fires, making them suitable for many environments.
  • Dry Powder: Dry Powder extinguishers are versatile and practical on all but Class F.
  • Wet Chemical: Wet chemical extinguishers are used in commercial kitchens (F Class).

Fire Hose

Fire Safety Regs

Some buildings have fire hoses fixed to walls on reels. The hoses can be unreeled in the event of a fire, and personnel can use water to extinguish fires. Fire and rescue authorities may also use differing nozzles on the hoses to suit the situation.

Fire Blankets

Fire blankets stop smaller fires by depriving them of oxygen by smothering them.

A competent and certified company should carry out the basic service of fire blankets. The responsible person should inspect fire blankets for serviceability monthly.

Fire blankets should have a maintenance label that should provide the last maintenance date and the type of maintenance carried out.

Fire Extinguishers
Why should you have a fire alarm system Installed?
Fire Alarms

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005 states that if you have five or more full-time employees, it is a legal requirement that there must be a responsible person.

This individual should reduce the risk of smoke and fire within your premises and ensure escape routes are in place. The fire risk assessment should evidence the need for fire alarm systems, fire doors, fire extinguishers and emergency lighting.

Failing to conduct a fire risk assessment could lead to the prosecution of the responsible person and invalidate insurance policies.

Fire alarm install

Fire Alarm Installation
Prevent Fire In the Workplace
Fire Safety Hazards

To prevent fire in the workplace, your risk assessment actions should identify fire risks, i.e. sources of ignition (heat or sparks), substances that burn, and the people at risk.

Aspirating Fire Detection

Fire Prevention Basics

  • Carry out a fire safety risk assessment
  • Keep sources of ignition and flammable substances apart
  • Avoid accidental fires, e.g. make sure heaters cannot be knocked over
  • Ensure good housekeeping at all times, e.g. avoid build-up of rubbish that could burn
  • Consider how to detect fires and how to warn people quickly if they start, e.g. installing smoke alarms and fire alarms or bells
  • Have the correct fire-fighting equipment for putting a fire out quickly
  • Keep fire exits and escape routes marked and unobstructed at all times
  • Ensure your workers receive appropriate training on procedures they need to follow, including fire drills
  • Review and update your risk assessment regularly
Passive Fire Protection
Fire and Rescue Authorities
Fire Safety Regulations Enforcement

Local fire and rescue authorities may visit your work premises to check that your fire risk assessment and fire prevention measures comply with fire safety regulations. If the buildings’ fire safety measures are not appropriate to the risks, they can take action to ensure that the issues do not endanger life.

They may issue a formal fire safety notice to advise how to fix the non-compliant items raised in the notice. If there are severe failings in fire prevention, the fire and rescue authority could submit an enforcement notice if serious risks are not managed correctly.

The most severe action the local fire authority can take is issuing a prohibition notice. This sanction immediately affects high fire risks for people entering a building.

Fire Safety Importance

Conventional Fire Alarm System
Employees must know what to do in the event of a fire
Fire Safety Training

Under the fire safety order, you must provide adequate fire safety training to employees. The training typically covers fire safety awareness which can be covered as part of workplace induction training.

Employers should provide further training to fire safety wardens. Perhaps most importantly, employers should provide training for the responsible person for the premises.

Fire extinguisher training is essential so that employees can use the equipment safely.

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