Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Regulatory Reform Order

London Fire Risk Assessments has collated extracts from all major, relevant Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 guidance documents for your ease of understanding and use. If after reading the various guidance documents you decide that you are unable to apply the recommendations and requirements, then you should seek expert advice from a competent person. More complex premises will probably need to be assessed by a person who has comprehensive training and or experience in Fire Risk Assessment. A representative of London Fire Risk Assessments will be pleased to act as your nominated competent person.

HM Government – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005


“This Order reforms the law relating to Fire Safety in non-domestic premises. It replaces Fire Certification under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 with a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of employees, a general duty, in relation to non-employees to take such fire precautions as may reasonably be required in the circumstances to ensure that premises are safe and duty to carry out a risk assessment. The Order imposes a number of specific duties in relation to the fire precautions to be taken. The Order provides for the enforcement of the Order, appeals, offences and connected matters. It amends or repels other primary legislation concerning fire safety to take account of the new system and provides for minor and other consequential amendments, repeals and revocations…..”

The Order applies to all non-domestic premises other than those listed… The main duty holder is the “responsible person” in relation to the premises… The duties on the responsible person are extended to any person who has, to any extent, control of the premises to the extent of their control…

Part 2 imposes duties on the responsible person in relation to fire safety in the premises (It) imposes various duties on employees, (and) gives the Secretary of State power to make further regulations about fire precautions.

Part 3 provides for enforcement. The enforcing authority is defined (and it) imposes a duty on the authority to enforce the Order. (The Order) set(s) out the powers of Inspectors, (and) provide(s) for the service of alterations, enforcement and prohibition notices in certain circumstances.

Part 4 (The Order) provides for offences and appeals.

Part 5 … provides for miscellaneous matters … maintenance of measures provided to ensure the safety of fire-fighters, civil liability for breach of statutory duty by an employer, …special requirements for Licensed premises … and consultation by other authorities.

Schedule 1 sets out the matters to be taken into account in carrying out risk assessment (Parts 1 and 2 ) the general principles to be applied in implementing fire safety measures (Part 3) and the special measures to be taken in relation to dangerous substances (Part 4.)

Schedule 2 amends various enactments, including amendments to limit the scope for other public authorities to attach conditions to licences in respect of fire precautions to be taken in premises and amendments to local acts to remove reference to fire safety. The remaining amendments in Schedule 2 and those in 3 are minor or consequential.

Schedule 4 & 5 contain repeals and revocations.

HM Government – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Chief Fire Officers’ Association

What is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?

The Government is committed to regulating only where necessary and in a way that is more suited to the needs of modern business. That is why the Order was made, under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. It replaces most fire safety legislation with one simple order. It means that any person who has some level of control in premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire…
…in more complicated premises or those with many people at risk… you may need more expert help.

Where does this Order apply?

The Order applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space.
For example, it applies to:

    • Offices and shops
    • Premises that provide care, including care homes and hospitals
    • Community halls, places of worship and other community premises
    • Pubs, clubs and restaurants
    • Tents and marquees
    • Hotels and hostels
    • Factories and warehouses

It does not apply to:

  • Peoples private homes, including individual flats in a block or house
What are the main rules under the Order?

You must:

    • 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 is reasonably possible 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 finding when necessary
Who is responsible for meeting the Order?

Under the Order, anyone who has control of the premises or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be a “responsible person”.
For example, it could be:

    • The employer for the parts of the premises staff may go to
    • The Managing Agent or Owner for shared parts of the premises or shared fire safety equipment such as fire-warning systems or sprinklers
    • The Occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations if they have control
    • Any other person who has some control over a part of the premises

Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be times when a number of people have some responsibility.

How do I meet the Order?

If you are the responsible person, you must make sure you carry out a fire risk assessment although you can pass this task to some other competent person.

However, you will still be responsible, in law, for meeting the order.

The responsible person, either on their own or with any other responsible person, must as far as is reasonably practical make sure that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape safely if there is a fire.

This is different from previous legislation in that you must consider everyone who might be on your premises whether they are employees, visitors or members of the public… You should pay particular attention to people who may have a disability or anyone who may need special help.

The Order says that you must manage any fire risk in your premises.

Fire Authorities no longer issue fire certificates and those previously in force will have no legal status… You will still need to carry out a fire risk assessment and make sure that you keep up all fire precautions and maintenance routines.

HM Government – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Department for Communities and Local Government Publications

    • Appoint one or more competent persons, depending on the size and use of your premises, to carry out any of the preventive and protective measures required by the Order (you can nominate yourself for this purpose). A competent person is someone with enough training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to be able to implement these measures properly
    • Provide your employees with clear and relevant information on the risks to them identified by the fire risk assessment, about the measures you have taken to prevent fires, and how these measures will protect them if a fire breaks out
    • You must consult your employees (or their elected representatives)about nominating people to carry out particular roles in connection with fire safety and about proposals for improving the fire precautions
    • Before you employ a child, provide a parent with clear and relevant information on the risks to that child identified by the risk assessment, the measures you have put in place to prevent/protect them from fire and inform any other responsible person of any risks to that child arising from their undertaking
    • Inform non-employees, such as temporary or contract workers, of the relevant risks to them, and provide them with information about who are the nominated competent persons, and about the fire safety procedures for the premises
    • Co-operate and co-ordinate with other responsible persons who also have premises in the building, inform them of any significant risks you find and how you will seek to reduce/control those risks which might affect the safety of their employees
    • Provide the employer of any person from an outside organisation who is working in your premises (e.g. an agency providing temporary staff with clear and relevant information on the risks to those employees and the preventive and protective measures taken. You must also provide those employees with appropriate instructions and relevant information about the risks to them
    • If you are not the employer but have any control of premises which contain more than one workplace, you are also responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the Order are complied with in those parts over which you have control
    • Consider the presence of any dangerous substances and the risk this presents to relevant persons from fire.
    • Establish a suitable means of contacting the emergency services and provide them with any relevant information about dangerous substances
    • Provide appropriate information, instruction and training to your employees, during their normal working hours, about fire precautions in your workplace, when they start working for you, and from time to time throughout the period they work for you
    • Ensure that the premises and any equipment provided in connection with fire fighting, fire detection and warning, or emergency routes and exits are covered by a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained by a competent person in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair
    • Employees must co-operate with you to ensure the workplace is safe from fire and its effects, and must not do anything that will place themselves or other people at risk
London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

Extracts from:

…Your Fire Risk Assessment is simply a process, which identifies all the fire hazards and risks present in your premises and then determines whether they are acceptable or whether they further action is required to reduce or control them.

The assessment must be tailored to the particular premises under consideration and must be carried out by somebody who is competent and, understands basic fire safety principles, is competent in Fire Risk Assessment and has the requisite knowledge relating to the particular premises.

Someone will be “competent” for the purpose of the Order, if he or she “has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them to properly assist in undertaking the preventative and protective measures.”…if you do not have a competent employee, Consultants can perform the assessment for you, providing information about your premises has been made available to them as part of the process….

As previously stated; A representative of London Fire Risk Assessments will be pleased to act as your nominated, Third Party, competent person.