The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Legislation covering Fire Safety in the U.K. has gone through a dramatic change. The Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 have been repealed, along with many other fire safety regulations embedded in other statutes, Fire certificates have ceased to exist, and employers have become solely responsible for fire safety within their workplaces, this includes outdoor event sites as well building and temporary structures.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order became law on the 1st of October 2006. The regulations are largely based on the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations, and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR). Companies were given a 3 month lead in period to comply with the act. The regulations apply to all workplaces/premises/temporary structures and outdoor sites.
The fire risk assessment element of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations have remained, with additional duties imposed, such as:
The duty to prevent fire spread
A duty to maintain Building Regulation standards for the use and protection of the fire service
A duty to appoint one or more employees to assist in ensuring compliance with the regulations (such as a Fire Marshals / Wardens)
The purpose of fire fighting equipment is clarified, in that, it is there to enable a small fire to be attacked to prevent fire spreading.
There is a duty to appoint a named responsible person, who will normally be the employer.
Like the Health & Safety at Work Act, it is up to the responsible person to demonstrate that they did everything 'reasonably practicable' to prevent injury, and there will be a civil liability if a breach of duty causes harm.
The fire service role is that of enforcement similar to the HSE for general health & safety matters. Some insurance companies have included clauses to ensure their clients are complying with the law, with obvious connotations where there is a lack of compliance they may refuse to pay some or all of an insurance claim.
Each individual company is responsible for their own fire safety. The employer must conduct a fire risk assessment regardless of the size of the risk.
Extended scope of consideration now to include property safety, fire fighter safety and the environment around the site as well as protecting life. This means that allowing a building to be sacrificed is unacceptable due to the risk to neighbouring buildings, fire fighters and the environment.
Protection is explicitly extended to all occupants and not just employees. Visitors, contractors or passers-by also have to be considered in the risk assessment.
Fire Safety Duties
The “duty holder” (normally the employer) has a duty to;
Conduct a Fire Safety Risk assessment (A methodical and organised look at your premises, the activities and the likelihood that a fire could start and cause harm to those in and around the premises) and record any significant findings.
Appoint a “competent person” to carry out preventive and protective measures required by the Order
The Risk Assessment must be carried out by a “competent person” who has the knowledge, experience and training to carry out fire risk assessments. Stagesafe are able to carry out a Fire Risk Assessments if required, contact us for details.
Provide employees with all relevant information with regards to the assessments findings
Nominate individuals to carry out particular roles
Inform non-employees of the risks
Co-operate & co-ordinate where buildings are shared occupancy
Consider the presence of any dangerous substances & the risk they present in the case of fire
Establish a suitable means of communication with the emergency services
Provide appropriate information, instruction and training to employees
Ensure that fire protection equipment is maintained by a competent person/s and recorded
Employees must co-operate to ensure the workplace is safe from fire and its effects.
The enforcing authority (Fire Service) will inspect the premises to ensure that a suitable fire risk assessment has been carried out, that the significant findings have been acted upon and a fire safety log book is kept. Penalties: enforcement notice or prohibition notice or legal proceedings – fines and imprisonment.
STAGESAFE now has qualified trainers that can provide all your fire safety training requirements to enable you to be legally compliant, we have two courses available and a certificate is provided for each course candidate, certificates last indefinitely but regular updates and refreshers are advisable.
Basic Fire Safety Awareness
A two to three hour session that is essential to all staff. This course is a mixture of spoken word, videos and PowerPoint presentation. Assessment tests will be included at the end of each course. Candidates need only bring note pad, pen no previous experience is required. The maximum group size for any course is 15 persons. Instructors will deliver courses at your company premises
Facilities that are required to host a course are quite simple: a suitable room that must be conducive to learning, e.g. comfortable temperature, no disturbances and toilet facilities nearby; equipped with tables and chairs for the comfortable accommodation of 16 persons and that can be darkened to show videos and PowerPoint. Tea and coffee making facilities are most welcome. We also require a vehicle parking place close to the door of the venue for the duration of the course to facilitate access for our equipment.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) requires staff to be trained in the safe use of fire extinguishers (discharging fire extinguishers), for this section of the course an outdoor safe area is required (such as an area in a car park) where fire extinguishers can be used by course delegates, the Client is responsible for providing such an area and three fully charged fire extinguishers (one water, one foam and one Carbon Dioxide) that will be discharged by the course delegates on a mock fire.
The content of this course is as follows:
1. Causes of workplace fires
2. The Fire Triangle
3. Fire fighting
4. Fire action plan
5. Assessment paper
One of the best parts of the course is where the students get practical hands-on experience of discharging various fire extinguishers. Here, a candidate demonstrates a CO2 extinguisher which features an insulated horn. This gives the operator greater directional control without the risk of freezer burns.
Below, a water extinguisher is being used.
Fire Safety for Stewards / Security and Fire Wardens/ Marshals
The content is the same as the Basic Fire Safety Awareness Course but with an additional two hour session to cover the roles and responsibilities of Stewards, Security, Marshals or Wardens.
Please contact Stagesafe for a quote and to arrange a suitable date, we can run courses at your premises or at our training venue in Glastonbury, Somerset.