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Regulatory Reform Order Summary

  • Applies all workplaces and other non-domestic premises.
  • New - One simple fire safety regime.
  • Existing fire legislation deleted / amended.
  • Risk assessment - based.
  • Protection for persons inside building and anyone affected by a fire.
  • Prevent fire starting •Prevent fire spread •Maintain fire precautions to protect Fire Brigade as required by Building Regs.

Legislation Repealed / Amended

  • Fire Precautions Act 1971
  • Fire Certification
  • Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 + amendment Regs 1999
  • Fire Certificate (Special Premises) Regs 1976
  • Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regs 1996
  • Approx 100 pieces of legislation amended or revoked


  • New regime will cover virtually all workplaces and places to which the public have access, but not domestic premises.
  • Applies to self employed (but not where they work at home) and voluntary section e.g. Scout Hut

Responsible Person

  • The Employer
  • Person in overall management
  • Occupier
  • Owner (includes empty buildings)
  • Landlords
  • Contractors (e.g. Installing Engineers)
  • Responsible for employees, anyone on premises plus anyone who may be affected by a fire.

Mitigation of Effects of Fire

  • Reasonable protection to people in vicinity of fire, as well as occupants.
  • Achieved by preventing fires starting or preventing fire spreading.
  • Reduce property damage
  • Reduce risks to fire fighters

Procedures for Serious & Imminent Danger & for Danger areas

  • Establish procedures to follow.
  • Nominate sufficient people to implement system e.g. Fire Marshals.
  • Control access to any area where it is necessary to restrict access on safety grounds, unless individual received adequate instruction/training. e.g. Flammable area.

Fire Safety Management

  • Appoint one or more competent persons to assist in compliance.
  • Ensure adequacy of people, time, resources, access to information suitable.
  • Suitable training, experience, knowledge to undertake task.
  • Preference to employee than non-employee.


  • Based on principle :-Employer/Responsible Person has responsibility/ownership for fire safety of their premises and the people who use them.
  • Responsible Person will be expected to determine how to comply with the law.
  • Burden of Proof
  • As in H&S Law :-
  • It is for accused to prove that it was not practicable to do more than was in fact done

Staff Training

  • On recruitment.
  • New or increased risks.
  • Transfer or changed responsibilities.
  • New or amended work equipment.
  • New technology.
  • New or revised system of work
  • Instruction & training on necessary precautions.
  • Instruction & training on action to take to safeguard themselves and others.
  • Repeated periodically.
  • Take place during work hours.
  • Be free to employee.

Civil Liability

  • If a breach of duty imposed on an employer, causes damage to an employee, a right of action will be conferred on employee.

Summary Points

  • Legal duty to prevent fires.
  • Legal duty to prevent fire spread.
  • Ownership for fire safety on responsible person. - not Fire Service.
  • Reduce impact on environment.
  • Reduce property damage.
  • Reduce dangers to fire fighters

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