The biggest single reform of fire safety legislation in over 30 years which simplifies the law for thousands of businesses while placing a greater focus on prevention has now been agreed by Parliament.
The new law, which came into force on 1st October 2006, consolidates existing fire legislation which was scattered across more than 70 pieces of legislation.
It also improves fire safety by placing the responsibility for fire safety on the employer or 'responsible person' for that building or premises. Under the new Fire Safety legislation the ‘responsible person’ for each premises is required to carry out an assessment of the risks (risk assessment) of fire and take steps to reduce or remove the risk. The risk assessment will have to take into consideration the effect a fire may have on anyone in or around your premises. This will need to be kept under regular review.
In addition, businesses will no longer need a fire certificate - though fire and rescue authorities will still continue to inspect premises and ensure adequate fire precautions are in place.
A series of 12 guidance documents (dealing with specific types of premises) and a supplementary guide detailing means of escape for disabled people are currently available from the Department for Communities and Local Government Publications, which are available for purchase in hard copy format at a price of £12. Alternatively, the documents are also available for download on the DCLG website. These guides provide detailed information on risk assessments and other issues relative to premises types. A "short guide to making your premises safe from fire" is also available for download providing simple and practical advice to people responsible for fire safety in small and medium sized businesses and can be downloaded in English, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu and Gujarati.
The reforms repeal the Fire Precautions Act 1971, the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (amended 1999) and amend or remove wherever possible the many other provisions dealing with fire safety contained in other legislation.
What are the main rules under the order?
- carry out a fire risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks;
- consider who may be especially at risk;
- get rid of or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably practicable and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risk left;
- take other measures to make sure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored;
- create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, keep a record of your findings;
- review your findings when necessary.
Fire Risk Assessors
Due to the large number of enquiries we have received with regards to knowing companies who undertake Fire Risk assessments we provide the following link to the website. The International Organisation of Fire Professionals (IFE) Register of Fire Risk Assessors & Auditors allows you to source appropriately skilled consultants. This link will allow you to search for registered assessors by name, company, postcode or stream. This link is to provide you with an Approved Fire Risk Assessors Register. Shropshire Fire Service has no affiliation with members of this register.