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For fire risk assessments there are five steps that need to be taken:
Step 1 Identify potential fire hazards in the workplace.
Step 2 Decide who (e.g. employees, visitors) might be in danger, in the event of a fire, in the workplace or while
trying to escape from it, and note their location.
Step 3 Evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether your existing fire precautions are adequate or
whether more should be done to get rid of the hazard or to control the risks (eg by improving the fire precautions).
Step 4 Record your findings and details of the action you took as a result. Tell your employees about your findings.
Step 5 Keep the assessment under review and revise it when necessary.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
WHY THE NEW REGULATIONS?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO) replaces over 100 pieces of fire related legislation. With so many pieces of legislation there was a great deal of overlapping and inconsistencies arising in fire safety standards. The aim of the FSO is to remove multiple and overlapping fire safety provisions and replace them with a single fire safety regime, which will reduce the burdens and complexity on businesses.
WHAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW REGULATIONS?
As from 1st October 2006 Fire Authorities will no longer issue fire certificates.
The fire safety standards will be based on a fire risk assessment, which must be carried out by a competent person.
Where a premises was issued with a fire certificate the occupier of a single occupancy premises was responsible for complying with the conditions of the fire certificate. For a building having more than one occupier, the occupiers and the owner were jointly responsible for complying with the conditions of the fire certificate. Under FSO it is the responsible person (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 undertaking.)
This means, in multi occupied buildings, that the owner/landlord is responsible for the common parts, common systems, organization and the fire safety procedures including the Fire Emergency Plan; and the occupiers are responsible for their premises, which includes all areas in a building where their employees go as part of the business including escape routes to the public road.
All responsible persons must demonstrate that they are managing the risks from fire safely within the areas under their control.
The responsible person must appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the preventive and protective measures. The preventative and proactive measures must take account of all persons legally in or in the vicinity of the premises.
WHICH PROPERTIES MUST COMPLY?
Premises is defined in the FSO as any place and, in particular, includes—
(a) any workplace;
(b) any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft;
(c) any installation on land (including the foreshore and other land intermittently covered by water), and any other installation (whether floating, or resting on the seabed or the subsoil thereof, or resting on other land covered with water or the subsoil thereof); and
(d) any tent or movable structure;
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLIANCE?
Every person who has control/responsibility of the premises to some extent.
Persons who have any contract or tenancy when it relates to-
a) The maintenance or repair of the workplace.
b) The safety of the workplace.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I ALREADY HAVE OR HAVE APPLIED FOR A FIRE CERTIFICATE UNDER THE 1971 ACT?
As from the 1st October 2006 the fire certificate or application will cease to have effect. Any requirements imposed by a fire certificate will not be acceptable under the FSO to the Fire and Rescue Authority even though they may have issued it.
IF THE FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY IS NOT GOING TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO, HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO?
Appoint G.B. Fire Safety Ltd. as your fire safety advisers and you can be assured that you will comply with the
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.