The key piece of legislation covering fire safety regulation in most non-domestic premises (e.g. workplaces) in England and Wales is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
A number of changes are due to be made to this regulation under the Building Safety Bill which was recently launched on its journey through parliament. Changes due to be introduced by the bill include:
- A requirement that where the person responsible for fire safety in a premises appoints someone to assist them with carrying out or reviewing a fire risk assessment, they must only appoint someone who is deemed to be competent. For the purposes of these regulations competence is defined as having “sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable the person properly to assist in making or reviewing the assessment”.
- Where more than one is appointed the responsible person must make arrangements for ensuring adequate co-operation between them.
- Where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises the responsible person must give the residents relevant information about fire safety matters including risks, preventative and protective measures, name and UK address of the responsible person (or someone acting on their behalf), the identity of anyone appointed to assist them with fire risk assessment, etc.
- The responsible person must also keep records of relevant fire safety matters where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises.
- Where there is a change of responsible person there must be a handover of relevant fire safety information from the outgoing to the incoming responsible person.
- There are also requirements for responsible persons to co-operate with “accountable persons” in higher risk buildings.
Note: for this legislation “Higher risk” buildings are those, in England, that are at least 18 meters high or have at least 7 storeys and contain at least two residential units.
An “accountable person” in a higher risk building will be someone such as an owner or managing company who has responsibility for building safety.
Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to arrange a fire risk assessment for your premises.