Fire Safety Order
Fire Safety Order is a fire risk assessment based approach where the responsible person or persons for the premises must decide on how to address the risks identified while meeting certain basic requirements. If you have previously carried out a fire risk assessment under the Fire Precautions Workplace Regulations 1997 or 1999, and this assessment has been regularly reviewed, then all you will need to do now is update that assessment taking into account the wider scope of the order.
Your premises may also be subject to the provisions of a license or registration. For example, under the Licensing Act 2003. In that case, the fire authority may wish to review your risk assessment as part of the licensing approval process. Fire safety conditions within your license should not be set by a licensing authority where the order applies. By adopting a fire risk assessment approach, the responsible individual must judge the potential fire risks and take appropriate action where necessary to neutralize or reduce these risk factors.
The Fire Safety order also covers the clarification of the responsible person. Briefly, it states that in the workplace, it is the employer or owner of premises, the person who has control of the premises occupier, or where the occupier has no control over the premises it will be the owner. The Fire Safety order also lays out the duties of the responsible person. The Fire Regulatory Reform Order looks at all people directly using, involved in, or in close proximity to a premises. These are relevant persons. Any person, including the responsible person who is, or may be lawfully, on the premises and any person in the immediate vicinity of the premises who is at risk from a fire on the premises. This may include staff, students, visitors, or members of the public on the street adjacent to the building.
The responsible person should also make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate for the effective planning, organization control, monitoring, and review of the preventative and protective measures and record them. The responsible person should also put in place control measures such as avoiding sources of ignition, and mitigation procedures such as keeping number of persons exposed to a minimum for fire safety, which this reform order looks at in grave detail.
The report also covers the detailed legislation relating to the responsible person. For example, the order discusses staff training. To avoid repetition, However, the report does outline some yet uncovered information about an employee's role in fire safety. An employee should
A) take reasonable care for the safety of himself and of other relevant persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.
B) cooperate with his employer to enable any duty or responsibility imposed by this order to be conformed or complied with.
C) inform his employer of any work situation which a person would reasonably consider represented a serious and immediate danger to safety.
Please note: There's often a disparity between the interpretation of the British standards and the comparative interpretation of the 2005 order. Often, a fire officer from the local brigade will be well-versed in the order, but this can conflict with more detailed information advice given in a specific British standard. As although the order is quite comprehensive, the British standards go into far more detail about specific sections. Therefore, this can create differences between the perceived action needed if a decision is based solely on one document or the other. When used in conjunction, these documents are at their most effective, enabling more comprehensive decisions to be made, ensuring all bases in regulation is covered.
In conclusion, the Fire Regulatory Reform 2005 Order is an incredibly useful document for ensuring your premises is fire regulation compliant. However, it is not all encompassing. The Fire Safety order, in conjunction with the British standards, is the best way to make any decisions about how to conform. If you would like any further advice, contact us.