The new law which came into force on the 1st October 2006 applies to all businesses in England and Wales. The New Fire Safety Order simplifies over 70 pieces of previous fire safety legislation and repeals the Fire Precautions Act 1971, the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (amended 1999).
The objective of the new law is to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire by placing the responsibility for fire safety on the employer or ‘responsible person’ for that building or premises. The main effect of the changes will be a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention.
Under the new Fire Safety legislation the ‘responsible person’ for each premises will be required to carry out a fire risk assessment and take steps to reduce or remove the risk.
Businesses will no longer need a fire certificate and fire certificates will no longer be valid, inspections will continue and evidence of assessments will be required.
The ‘responsible person’ is the person/s who owns or controls the business. This is also the owner of the property. If the two are different they must share responsibility and are obliged to co-operate.
This ‘Responsible Person’ has the responsibility for undertaking a fire risk assessment to ensure that precautions are implemented to ensure the safety of the Employees and other Relevant Persons (visitors and contractors at your premises). In addition:
* A Competent Person(s) could be an employee or an outside contractor. Competence is demonstrated through sufficient training, experience and knowledge.
Inspections may be unannounced and an inspector may enter premises to inspect the premises, ask about the identity of the Responsible Person, and inspect or copy Fire Safety Records.
Failure to comply with the Fire safety Order may result in legal action resulting in a fine or up to two years imprisonment.
The Enforcing Authority will ordinarily be a Fire Inspector from the local Fire Brigade. In special cases the HSE or Local Authority may be involved.
Full details of the relevant legislation can be found at www.opsi.gov.uk
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Disclaimer: The Health & Safety Group Ltd have provided the enclosed information on the basis that the content contained within these documents is to the best of our knowledge accurate at the time of publication. The Health & Safety Group Ltd does not accept any liability for the accuracy of the information.