Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

On 1st October 2006 new regulations regarding fire safety in places of work became law.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) takes the place of most of the existing fire safety laws. Therefore the Fire Precautions Act 1971 fire certificate which was issued by local fire authorities is no longer legal as the act along with the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and most other fire safety laws have been revoked.

The order will promote and encourage a fire safety environment which in turn will make workplaces safer, reducing the number of fires, deaths and injuries.

The purpose of the order is to:

  • Encompass most of the other fire safety laws so that a single order can be better understood
  • Create a single order that will be easier to administer
  • Increase compliance
  • Ensure that fire prevention follows a risk assessed format
  • Increase fire awareness to ensure that fire safety is encompassed by all businesses
  • Ensure that all businesses are treated on a equal footing
  • Ensure that measures taken for the prevention of fire i.e. means of escape, fire alarms, fire-fighting equipment etc. are regularly maintained


Who will the regulations affect?

Simply, all places of work will be affected, the only exception being self employed people who work from their own homes with no employees.

For example it applies to:

  • Offices and shops
  • Care homes and hospitals
  • Community halls, places of worship and other community premises
  • The shared area’s of properties several households live in (housing laws may also apply)
  • Pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • Schools and sports centres
  • Tents and marquees
  • Hotels and hostels
  • Factories and warehouses

List courtesy of booklet 'A short guide to making your premises safe from fire' - HM Government.


What are the requirements of the order?

Nomination of a Responsible Person:

  • The nominated person will be responsible for the compliance of the order.

The Responsible Person must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment which must include: (this may be delegated to some other suitably trained person)

  • Means of Escape
  • Fire Warning systems
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Fire-fighting Equipment
  • Signs & Notices
  • Training for employees

The Responsible Person must:

  • Consult with & provide information for employees on fire safety matters
  • Ensure that the maintenance of equipment installed or supplied for fire protection is carried out
  • Ensure that employees receive appropriate training & carry out fire drills
  • Develop a fire safety policy, fire safety procedures & evacuation procedures
  • Review the risk assessment regularly & when any change takes place


The Fire Risk Assessment, where five or more persons are employed must be recorded in writing.

There are five steps to carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment:

  • Identify the fire hazards within your premises
  • Identify people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk
  • Record, plan, instruct, inform and train
  • Review

The person carrying out the Fire Risk Assessment should be competent, experienced and have had the correct training.

If your premises have a Fire Certificate issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 do not destroy it as it may assist with the production of a Fire Risk assessment.

Failure to comply with the order could result in the issue of enforcement notices, prohibition notices, penalties of fines or up to two years imprisonment.