Fire Risk AssessmentsPREVENTION
What Is the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (The “FSO”) came into force in October 2006 following a government review of existing fire safety legislation. Its broad aim was to displace and consolidate the scope of over 100 separate pieces of related legislation into a single order, creating a fire safety regime based on risk assessment, fire prevention and mitigation measures.
The FSO covers, with very few exceptions, all non-domestic premises including the common areas of purpose built flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). It does not apply to private dwellings and individual flats within a purpose-built block or converted house.
How Do I Comply with The Fire Safety Order?
To meet the requirements of the FSO, the responsible person must firstly complete a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire-risk assessment or engage a ‘competent person’ to perform this on their behalf. The risk assessment should identify any fire hazards in the premises and how these can be reasonably removed or reduced. It should also consider the people at risk from fire and the general fire precautions employed to ensure they are adequately protected, should one occur. The fire risk assessment results in an action plan which summarises all risks, deficiencies and corresponding remedial actions. The responsible person must apply appropriate priority to and act upon the documented findings to reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably practicable such that their fire safety regime aligns with the requirements of articles 8 – 22 of the FSO.
Thereafter, fire risk assessments should be reviewed by the responsible person regularly to keep up-to-date and, in any event by the date indicated in the Assessment. A review should be carried out if it is suspected that it is no longer valid, or there has been changes to the premises, refurbishment, extensions, use of property, number of occupants, introduction of hazardous substances as well as any near miss or fire incident. In any event at intervals of no more than 12 months.
The Responsible Person
The FSO refers to a ‘responsible person’ as having overall responsibility for fire safety. In a workplace context, the responsible person is the employer if the premises are, to any extent, under their control. Where an organisation occupies a leased or rented premise, the FSO imposes a joint fire safety duty on landlords and managing agents in addition to (not instead of) the occupying responsible person.
Landlords and managing agents are also ‘responsible persons’ with respect to the common areas of purpose built flats and HMOs. The responsible person must ensure that their fire safety measures comply with the FSO as it is they who have the duty of care to protect ‘relevant persons’, namely occupants, visiting contractors and members of the public who are lawfully on or near their premises. Non-compliance with the FSO can result in prosecution (either a fine or imprisonment).
Our Competency Statement for Fire Risk Assessments carried out by South East Fire Protection.
Our assessors are members of the Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) or (MIFE) and Institute of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO) and have attended relevant courses and hold formal qualifications to carry out fire risk assessments.
Our detailed and legally compliant report is carried out in accordance with PAS79: 2012 (Guidance and recommended methodology) and will identify the people at risk, the potential fire hazards, the fire protection measures currently in place and the management of fire safety. Any issues identified will be documented on a user-friendly Remedial Action Plan report that will form part of the Assessment.
For extra peace of mind all fire risk assessments we carry out are covered under our Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Horsham, West Sussex
Phone: 01403 599 777
© South East Fire Protection Ltd 2017.
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