LEGISLATION

The new Fire Legislation is called the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and this statutory instrument has the effect of sweeping away all previous legislation governing the work place, places of business, places to which the public have access and Multi Occupied Dwellings (HMO's), and bring it all under this one instrument of parliament.

A copy can be viewed at:

The 'Responsible Person', normally the person in charge of the premises must;

Make a written 'risk assessment', and keep it up to date. From this he must make the decisions about Fire Safety for all persons in or on the premises in question.

This new piece of legislation make breaches a 'criminal offence', so it is no longer a 'civil matter', your are now personally liable and your freedom can be risk.

Such a process will most probably result in a decision being made that the building must be of a suitable fire resistant construction, is in good repair and that some sort of Automatic Fire Detection System is a must, and going hand in hand with that is a requirement for an Emergency Lighting system, extinguishers and maybe other on site Fire Fighting Equipment, all in all a complete package.

Whilst the compliance with the new Fire Safety Order is enforceable via criminal prosecution, it should be remembered that its primary purpose is to save life and prevent injury to people in the event of Fire.

Insurers

But what about the building, its contents the future of your business? Your Insurers obviously have an interest, as they are on risk and will insist that you take all proper precaution to minimise their exposure to risk as far as possible, they should be a party to this decision making process.

They may want not only an adequate Fire Detection System to alert people to fire to allow an early evacuation but they may also want it communicated automatically as soon as possible to the Brigade via a BT Redcare signalled alert, so that whilst you are evacuating the premises the Brigade are on their way.

Because of these differing risks there are a variety of configurations of Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm systems designated by L, P and M codes with sub categories to denote the type of coverage the system should have, and they are derived from BS5839: 2002 which is the main standard relating to the fitting of such systems.

The Government Guide for your type of business can be found at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw/
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