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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 & Fire Act 2005

Legislation

Introduction

On the 1st October 2006 the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) came into force in England and Wales and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (FSA) came into force in Scotland. The RRFSO is the responsibility of the Department of Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), and the FSA is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive (SE).

The RRFSO and FSA revoked the following legislation applicable to construction:

  • The Fire Precautions Act 1971
  • The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997
  • The Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 1999
  • The Fire Certificates (Special Premises) Regulations 1976

A full copy of the RRFSO can be accessed from: legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/contents

A full copy of the FSA can be accessed from: legislation.gov.uk/asp/2005/5/contents

This new legislation revokes the significant number of fire related legislation that has been developed within the UK and Scotland over the years, and heralds the new regime based on fire safety risk assessment. The RRFSO and FSA cover all workplaces and the supply of fire-fighting equipment located in the common areas of private dwellings.

Except the removal of the requirement to obtain a fire certificate for the construction office and welfare facilities, the fire precautions and emergency arrangements on construction sites will remain the same as before the new legislation came into force. The requirement for a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment for the site remains, as does the requirement to review and amend this assessment as the site layout and materials and processes in use change during the construction programme.

Content of the RRFSO

Part 1 - General

  1. Citation, commencement and extent
  2. Interpretation
  3. Meaning of "responsible person"
  4. Meaning of "general fire precautions"
  5. Duties under this Order
  6. Application to premises
  7. Disapplication of certain provisions

Part 2 - Fire safety duties

  1. Duty to take general fire precautions
  2. Risk assessment
  3. Principles of prevention to be applied
  4. Fire safety arrangements
  5. Elimination or reduction of risks from dangerous substances
  6. Fire-fighting and fire detection
  7. Emergency routes and exits
  8. Procedures for serious and imminent danger and for danger areas
  9. Additional emergency measures in respect of dangerous substances
  10. Maintenance
  11. Safety assistance
  12. Provision of information to employees
  13. Provision of information to employers and the self-employed from outside undertakings
  14. Training
  15. Co-operation and co-ordination
  16. General duties of employees at work
  17. Power to make regulations about fire precautions

Part 3 - Enforcement

  1. Enforcing authorities
  2. Enforcement of Order
  3. Powers of inspectors
  4. Exercise on behalf of fire inspectors etc. of their powers by officers of fire brigades
  5. Alterations notices
  6. Enforcement notices
  7. Prohibition notices

Part 4 - Offenses and appeals

  1. Offences
  2. Defence
  3. Onus of proving limits of what is practicable or reasonably practicable
  4. Appeals
  5. Determination of disputes by Secretary of State

Part 5 - Miscellaneous

  1. Fire-fighters' switches for luminous tube signs etc.
  2. Maintenance of measures provided for protection of fire-fighters
  3. Civil liability for breach of statutory duty
  4. Duty not to charge employees for things done or provided
  5. Duty to consult employees
  6. Special provisions in respect of licensed etc. premises
  7. Suspension of terms and conditions of licences dealing with same matters as this Order
  8. Suspension of byelaws dealing with same matters as this Order
  9. Duty to consult enforcing authority before passing plans
  10. Other consultation by authorities
  11. Disapplication of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to general fire precautions
  12. Service of notices etc.
  13. Application to the Crown and to the Houses of Parliament
  14. Guidance
  15. Application to visiting forces, etc.
  16. Subordinate provisions
  17. Repeals, revocations, amendments and transitional provisions

Schedule 1

  • Part 1: Matters to be considered in risk assessment in respect of dangerous substances
  • Part 2: Matters to be taken into particular account in risk assessment in respect of young persons
  • Part 3: Principles of prevention
  • Part 4: Measures to be taken in respect of dangerous substances

Schedule 2

  • Amendments of primary legislation

Schedule 3

  • Amendments of subordinate legislation

Schedule 4

  • Repeals

Schedule 5

  • Revocations

HSE ACoPs and Guidance

All HSE documents are available to purchase or to freely download from the links below.

Other guidance on the requirements on construction sites can be seen at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/generalfire.htm.

Sector-specific guides have also been produced for compliance with both the RRFSO and FSA. These documents provide guidance to employers, managers, occupiers and owners of work premises, describing how to comply with the RRFSO, perform fire risk assessment and identify the fire precautions required, and are available as follows:

  • Offices and shops
  • Factories and warehouses
  • Sleeping accommodation (Excluding residential care premises and hospitals)
  • Residential care premises
  • Educational premises
  • Small and medium places of assembly
  • Large places of assembly
  • Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
  • Open air events and venues
  • Healthcare premises
  • Transport premises and facilities

The guides can be purchased in hard-copy from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) or can be downloaded free of charge from: www.firesafetyguides.communities.gov.uk.

The Scottish Executive has also prepared guidance to inform persons with fire safety responsibilities for non-domestic premises under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005. The guidance and other fire safety information have been made available on the Scottish Executive fire safety website, www.infoscotland.com/firelaw.