What is the Fire Safety Order?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order came into force in October 2006 and replaced lots of other legislation, dating from 1947 onwards. It streamlines this old legislation and places responsibility for fire safety matters firmly with those who are best placed to tackle it employers, building owners and employees.
It applies to you if you are an employer, responsible for business premises, self employed with business premises or a contractor with some control over premises. It also applies to charities and voluntary organisations.
How does this relate to a Fire Certificate?
This legislation completely replaces the need for fire certificates.
What do I have to do?
The Fire Safety Order places a duty on a 'Responsible Person' to carryout a fire risk assessment, then act on the findings in order to minimise the risk to people by fire.
What is a Fire Risk Assessment and how do I do it?
It is a process that will help you assess the risk to your employees and other people, identify any weaknesses in your fire safety procedures and tell you how to reduce or remove any unacceptable risks.
Can I carry out a Fire Risk Assessment myself?
With a little help from us, of course you can. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order says that the duty to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment lies with the Responsible Person. The Order does not define the level of competence required by the Responsible Person, but for most smaller businesses a degree of common sense will be adequate. If you have a large or complex workplace, however, you may feel that you do not have the appropriate knowledge or expertise to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment, in which case you may wish to use Lighthouse Safety Solutions. The same may apply if you simply do not have the time or resource to do it in-house.
Can I get my local Fire and Rescue Authority to do my Fire Risk Assessment?
No. You can go to them for advice and feedback, but they will not do the Fire Risk Assessment for you.
Who needs to see my Fire Risk Assessment when I have done it?
Your staff need to be aware of the findings of your Fire Risk Assessment and you need to provide adequate instruction and training for them in respect of your emergency plan and anything else related to the outcome of your assessment. You dont need to send it to the fire authority, but they may ask to see it.
What happens if I don't comply with the Legislation?
The Fire and Rescue Authorities are the enforcing authorities for the Order, and as such can ask to inspect your premises and see your Fire Risk Assessment. If there are found to be serious risks that are not being managed, they have a statutory duty to enforce the Order. This can include issuing Enforcement Orders and, if necessary, taking you to court.