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Fire Safety Law & Guidance

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (commonly called the RRO), effective from 1st of October 2006

The changes set out in the RRFSO will apply to non-domestic premises only.

The main effect of the changes will be a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises, including the voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes.

Fire certificates have been abolished and cease to have legal status.

The Fire Safety order applies in England and Wales. It covers 'general fire precautions' and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect 'relevant persons' in case of fire in and around most 'premises'. The Order requires fire precautions to be put in place "where necessary" and to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances of the case.

Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order will rest with the 'responsible person'. In a workplace this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, e.g. the occupier or owner. In all other premises the person or people in control of the premises will be responsible. If there is more than one responsible person in any type of premises, all must take all reasonable steps to work with each other.

If you are the responsible person you will have to carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as the disabled and those with special needs and must include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on the premises. Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain.

If you employ five or more people you must record the significant findings of the assessment.

Full details of this legislation can be found at

RRO Guides for Business & Industry:

  • Offices and Shops
  • Premises providing Sleeping Accommodation
  • Residential Care
  • Small and Medium Places of Assembly
  • Large Places of Assembly
  • Factories and Warehouses
  • Theatres and Cinemas
  • Educational Premises
  • Healthcare Premises (responsibility of the Department of Health)
  • Transport Premises and Facilities Open Air Events.

Downloadable guidance leaflets can be found on the Communities & Local Government website »

Note that the above website will open in a new window and the leaflets can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format.

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