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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 means that it is now compulsory for all businesses to conduct a ‘suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment’ of all premises and parts of premises.
The order came into force on 1st October 2006 and consolidates and supersedes all previous fire safety regulations, meaning fire certificates are no longer issued (except in certain high risk establishments) or accepted as proof of fire safety compliance.
The aim of the new regulations is to create a simpler system that makes it easier for people to understand what is expected of them, and to place the emphasis on fire prevention through risk assessment. There are very few exceptions to the new legislation, and you must ensure that your premises have a fully comprehensive and up-to-date fire risk assessment in place if you:
- are an employer (with business premises)
- are responsible for a business premises
- have a business based in a licensed property
- are a contractor with control over a business premises
- are self-employed
The new fire safety regulations are self-regulatory which means that it is solely the responsibility of the person responsible for the premises to ensure that a fire safety risk assessment is in place and that reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove risk. There is no longer a policing authority but if there is a fire in your premises and you are found to be negligent or non-compliant with regard to fire safety risk assessment, you will be prosecuted. You could be deemed directly responsible for complying with this legislation if you are:
- an employer
- self-employed with business premises
- a person with control over a business premises
- a landlord
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