Regulatory Requirements

You are responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re:

  • an employer
  • the owner
  • the landlord
  • an occupier
  • anyone else with control of the premises, eg a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor

You’re known as the ‘responsible person’. If there’s more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities.

The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests, eg if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property.

Fire safety rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Fire Safety – from the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 and the BS 9999: 2008

RRO 2005: Part 2 – Article 21

The responsible person must ensure that his employees are provided with adequate safety training:

  • At the time when they are first employed; and
    1. On their being exposed to new or increased risks because of –
    2. Their being transferred or given a change of responsibilities within the responsible persons undertaking
    3. The introduction of new work equipment into, or a change respecting work equipment already in use within, the responsible persons undertaking
    4. The introduction of new technology into the responsible persons undertaking; or
    5. The introduction of a new system of work into, or a change respecting a system of work already in use within, the responsible persons undertaking

The training must

  • Include suitable and sufficient instruction and training on the appropriate precautions and actions to be taken by the employee in order to safeguard himself and other relevant persons on the premises
  • Be repeated periodically where appropriate
  • Be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the safety of the employees concerned
  • Be provided in a manner appropriate to the risk identified by the risk assessment; and
  • Take place during working hours

BS:9999: 2008: 8.3.5 Fire training

Training of staff and others for action in the event of a fire is an essential element of fire safety management.

  • In a level 1 system, the training ensures that there are sufficient numbers of staff trained in all aspects of fire prevention, fire protection and evacuation procedures, and able to use the appropriate extinguishing equipment (and media), so as to provide full coverage of the building, with provision for contingencies, sickness or holiday absences.
  • In a level 2 system, the training ensures that there are sufficient numbers of staff trained in all aspects of fire prevention, fire protection and evacuation procedures, and able to use the appropriate extinguishing equipment (and media), so as to provide full coverage of the building, but has no contingency provision.
  • In a level 3 system, general training is provided on a periodic basis.

8.3.3 Resources and authority for the management of fire safety to be effective, the fire safety manager(s) needs to be empowered and able to command sufficient resources to maintain the systems.

  • In a level 1 system, the manager(s) with responsibility for fire safety are empowered to ensure that legislative requirements are met; initiate testing, initiate maintenance or repair, and, where necessary, have direct control of staff responsible for these tasks. Such powers are supported by the necessary, sufficient and appropriate resources, including funds.
  • In a level 2 system, the responsibility for fire safety, and the necessary supporting staff and resources, is likely to be divided over a number of different individuals, departments or even companies. It is likely that the implementation of any necessary changes will require approval of those not directly responsible for the routine management of fire safety within the premises.
  • In a level 3 system, the managers determined as being responsible for fire safety are likely to have limited or no power or resources, and are thus unlikely to be able to ensure that the fire safety systems are kept fully functional without reference to a third party.

For more information please see Fire safety in the workplace from GOV.UK

And also Fire Safety on the HSE website

You could be fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations. Minor penalties can be up to £5,000. Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison

All information on this page was correct at time of writing but may change at any time.