THE LAW 
 
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 
 
Known also as the Fire Safety Order, the Law applies to all premises in the UK where people resort. Scotland and N Ireland have different Laws to England and Wales with all requiring responsible persons to self-regulate fire safety in their premises. 
 
The Law is generally enforced by the fire authority for the area where the premises is situated. 
 
Points for consideration 
 
The Building Regulations are administered by the local authority, or by an approved inspector 
A formal application for approval must be made including plans showing all fire safety provisions. 
A fee must be paid and this is based upon the value of the project. 
Authorities may charge for some consultation. 
Building Control Officers will not design your scheme for you, and may not even give advice on how to get your scheme to comply. 
Proposals that do not comply with the required standards may be rejected with little or no explanation given. 
Many proposals are rejected because of a lack of understanding what information building control and the fire authority require on the plans. 
Other Regulations may be applied such as London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939: Section 20. 
It is no longer necessary to send proposals for alterations to the fire and rescue authority. 
The local authority will consult with the fire and rescue authority before approving the proposed alterations. 
Advantages of Using Force Fire Consultancy 
Your proposals may be over designed and incorporate expensive fire safety measures that are not required; we can advise and save on costs. 
We can give advice on the type of fire warning arrangements needed for different purpose groups prior to the design stage so that they can be incorporated into your scheme. 
Our consultants are familiar with all areas of fire safety legislation and their application through Building Regulations. 
We are able to maximise the workspace without losing areas to unnecessary fire lobbies and escape corridors. 
We will prepare the full proposal in compliance with the required standard and avoid the possibility of rejection. 
We can plan check for Approved Document B (means of escape in the event of fire) compliance and where proposals do not meet these requirements give suitable advice. 
We can produce fire safety drawings for the local authority showing the proposed means of escape changes. 
Many applications are rejected because of information overload i.e. too much unnecessary information and the building control officer may not find the information in the fine print. 
 
 
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 
 
The new Order came into force on 1st October 2006 
 
The person who has responsibility for the Premises/Workplace is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Order. 
 
The building regulations 
 
The Building Regulations include rules enforced by the Local Authority that set the standards for fire protection to be applied to a building when first constructed and when material alterations take place. Material alterations are those affecting the fire safety provisions in the building. 
 
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO) replaces over 100 pieces of fire related legislation including The Fire Precautions Act 1971. With so many pieces of legislation there was a great deal of over lapping and inconsistencies arising in fire safety standards. The aim of the FSO is to remove multiple and overlapping fire safety provisions and replace them with a single fire safety regime, which will reduce the burdens and complexity on businesses. 
 
 
As from 1st October 2006 the responsible person was given the mandatory duty for compliance with the FSO. Failure to comply with any duty is an offence that could lead to prosecution of “responsible persons”. The friendly fire safety officer changed to become an ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, and no longer gives advice! 
 
The first step towards compliance is for a fire risk assessment to be undertaken by a competent person. 23 Articles of the FSO must be considered and appropriate duties then taken. 
 
Under the FSO "responsible person" means- 
(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control; 
(b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)- 
i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or 
ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking.) 
 
In simple English for any place (premises) responsible person may be the Employer, Owner, Office Manager, Facilities Manager, Asset Manager, Fire Safety Manager, Fire Warden, Extinguisher Maintenance Engineer, Fire Alarm Engineer, Employees: anyone with any responsibility for a fire safety matter. 
 
Strange but simple example: an employee who walks past a damaged fire-resisting door and does not report the door for repairs is committing an offence – article 21 of the FSO! 
 
 
Premises is defined in the FSO as any place and, in particular, includes- 
 
(a) any workplace; 
(b) any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft; 
(c) any installation on land (including the foreshore and other land intermittently covered by water), and any other installation (whether floating, or resting on the seabed or the subsoil thereof, or resting on other land covered with water or the subsoil thereof); and 
(d) any tent or movable structure; 
 
 
Every person who has control/responsibility of the premises to some extent. 
Persons who have any contract or tenancy when it relates to- 
 
a) The maintenance or repair of the workplace. 
b) The safety of the workplace. 
 
Appoint Force Fire Consultants as your fire safety advisers and you can be assured that you will comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
 
 
Force Fire Consultancy will act as the competent person to assist you in undertaking the preventive and protective measures 
We will produce a full report of all that is required for full compliance. 
We will produce training schedules for all levels of employee so that you can undertake the bulk of training in house. 
We will be able to provide telephone assistance for any fire safety problem that you may experience. 
When you wish to carry out alterations to your premises we will advise you how to best comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 
 
 
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