Fire Regulatory Reform Order

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Under the new regulatory reform, it is a legal responsibility for specified people to carry out a fire risk assessment as well as creating an emergency action plan. They must also remove or reduce the risk as far as is reasonably possible, and in doing so, consider anyone who may be at an increased risk. They must take other measures to make sure there is suitable protection available if flammable or explosive materials are stored anywhere on the premises. Finally, they are required to constantly be reviewing findings when necessary.

Reducing the risks involved also includes the procedure and apparatus in place should a fire break out. In doing so, they will ensure that adequate fire detection systems are in place, as well as ensuring that adequate fire safety equipment is available and serviced regularly. Remember, that there is no point having fire safety equipment if it is broken. It will not help during a fire whatsoever, and could even put you are a higher risk. Making sure that there are safe routes for everyone to escape in case of fire are a must, and alternate escape routes should be considered as well. Should anyone with additional needs require an alternate escape route, these have to be made available.

When escape routes have been set in place, make sure that everyone in the workplace knows what to do in emergencies. Regular fire drills will help keep risks at a minimum, at not only will everyone then know what to do, but they will have done it before. Having as many people trained in fire safety as possible will constantly aid your workplace in being as safe as possible. This is due to more and more people being to identify and eliminate possible fire risks, as well as being more cautious about what they are doing to help reduce the number of fire outbreaks. Should any changes to the building occur, you should review your plans to make sure it remains up to date.

The Fire Authorities are the main agency responsible for enforcing all fire-safety legislation in non-domestic premises.

Consequently, they will inspect premises that present a high risk as well as responding to complaints about fire safety. When poor fire-safety management has been identified, they will carry out thorough investigations to find the reasons behind this. However, should they find no serious risks, it is possible that they may provide guidance on possible improvements to keep the risks as low as possible. On the other hand, if the risk is found to be more serious, they may issue a formal notice. They will then work with you to help you achieve an acceptable level of fire safety. Furthermore, where they consider that there is a serious risk to life on the premises, they are well within their ability to issue a notice preventing the premises from being used for certain purposes (for example sleeping). On top of this, they can prevent people from using part or all of the premises, and it should be noted that failure to comply is an offence.

Should a notice be issued, you have the right to appeal. This may be either formally or informally, with an informal appeal normally being made to a more experienced fire-safety manager. Making a formal complaint has to be done to a magistrate. Yet until the appeal is successful the notice remains in force.

It is the responsibility of anyone who has control of premises, or a degree of control over certain areas to meet this order. Firstly, this applies to employers. For example, for the parts of the premises used by their employees. It also applies to the agent or owner of areas shared between different business, tenants or organisations. In instances such as this, the owner or agent would be responsible for shared fire safety equipment/sprinklers, fire warning systems. It also means self-employed occupiers of a building and voluntary organisations where they have any control whatsoever over a premises.