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Fire Safety Regulation – are you compliant?

Published: 10/10/11

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order signified an important change to fire safety legislation in England, Wales and Scotland with effect from the 1st October 2006. In Northern Ireland Part 3 of The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 came into effect on 15 November 2010.

One of the major changes was the repeal of certification under the Fire Precautions Act 1971, with the fire service inspection and enforcement regimes moving away from prescription to (the ever present) identification of risk. Fire certificates ceased to have any legal status from the 1st October, 2006 onwards.

The Order applies to the vast majority of premises and workplaces – but not domestic premises (if occupied as a single domestic dwelling).

The responsibility for fire safety is firmly placed on the person who owns or has control over a business and/or premises to ensure that the requirements of the new legislation have been complied with. The safety of all relevant persons will need to be taken into account. What’s more the legislation varies depending on geographical location – ask your Flint Account Handler for specific details about this.

Whilst this legislation changed in 2006, the fact is that businesses are still getting caught out. You may recall the relatively recent high profile case about New Look. The high street retailer was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £136,052 after pleading guilty to two breaches of fire safety legislation. This followed a serious fire at their Oxford Street store in London's West End. London Fire Brigade reported that even though the alarm had sounded it had been reset on at least one occasion and they were not summoned until an office worker in an adjacent building made the call. During their investigation they also found a number of serious breaches including the lack of a suitable fire risk assessment, which meant that the correct procedures, in case of fire, were not in place.

The pub firm Publicana was fined just over £15,000 for multiple fire safety breaches in a Chippenham based premises. The breaches included fire doors that had been kept open, obstructed fire escape routes, fire exits screwed shut and failure to carry out a fire risk assessment.

If you are in any way unsure about your own fire risk assessment, ask your Flint representative for more information or our customer fact sheet.

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