Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants



Navigation

Client login
Forgotten password
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our blog

Freephone: 0800 410 1130
E-mail: fire@lwf.co.uk

NEW FIRE REGULATIONS: Responsibilities and Liabilities Update.4

Posted by LWF: 28/03/2007 5:28

(LWF issue regular updates covering topics specific to the implications of the new fire safety regulations on your business operation).
The New Law
The new law (The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) came into effect on the 1st October 2006. It is enacted through the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO), which in itself is legislation intended to enable the Government to amend existing legislation without the need to follow the full process of law enactment through Parliament. The Government’s intention for the RRO is to cut ‘red-tape’ and ease the legislative burden on commerce and industry generally. To reduce the possibility for confusion of Orders made under the RRO, the fire safety law is referred to as the ‘Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO).
Responsibility
The FSO made under the RRO is criminal law. Responsibilities for fire safety apply to the majority of premises in which persons are likely to resort with the exception of single residence properties and other minor use occupancies such as ships, offshore establishments and mines. The responsibility for fire safety is placed with the ‘Responsible Person’ who can be defined as the individual who has control over the premises. In many cases this may be the employer. In others it may be the owner, or a shared responsibility between owner / Landlord and tenants who further divide responsibility between ‘common parts’ and demises and between physical fire precaution provision / maintenance and fire safety management.
Liability
In general application and indeed following a serious fire incident, the enforcing authority (local fire brigade) will appraise the Fire Safety Management System (FSMS) put in place by the Responsible Person. The way in which the responsibility is devolved (as applicable) will be examined and this will be assessed when compared to the competency of the individual to who the responsibility is assigned. An organisation cannot devolve responsibility without ensuring the training necessary to impart the appropriate competency for the task. If it does, any investigation will revert up the chain of devolved responsibility until a level of management competency is reached, most likely the Board of Directors or equivalent. The individual rather than the ‘corporate body’ may be liable if negligence is involved and in extreme cases the spectre of ‘corporate manslaughter’ will in the future be ever present.
Implications to the Individual
Only time and ‘case law’ will make the outcome of prosecutions clear for breaches of the FSO. Our interpretation is that provided an individual follows guidelines set by the organisation (such as undertaking fire risk assessments) and provided everything that is reasonable to be done, is done, then it is unlikely that individual prosecutions will follow. If however gross negligence is the proven case (such as falsification of records, wilful neglect of responsibility), then individuals rather than the corporate entity may find themselves with a heavy fine or imprisonment and of course, a criminal record.


Leave a reply

  *

  *

 


CAPTCHA Image

[ Change the image ]


*Required

Subscribe to our fire safety blogs

Bulletins
Email Format
* indicates required

FIRE SAFETY BLOGS

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety Training for Staff - Part 84

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, our aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 83, LWF began look at those roles in a healthcare environment which might have special responsibilities in case of a fire and while it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list which applies to all, those staff who will be expected to assist in patient evacuation were...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel - Fire Safety Legislation - Part 2

    Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 1, we began an overview of the history of fire safety legislation, which we continue in part 2.In the last blog, it was ascertained that following a fire disaster, it is common to see changes in legislation with...

    Read more...

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Provision of Firefighting Shafts - Part 50

    In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been discussing firefighting and what provisions must be made for firefighting activities in a building. In part 49, we examined some of the criteria given in different guidance documents and in particular, how it is recommended that a firefighting lobby should be used as access to the accommodation from a firefighting lift or stair as a single fire...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety Training for Staff - Part 83

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, our aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 82, LWF looked at what elements make up an effective fire safety training policy. In part 83, we begin by discussing the use of e-learning as a tool in fire safety training, before looking at training for staff with special responsibilities.E-learning, or learning which is undertaken on...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel - Fire Safety Legislation - Part 1

    Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 1, we begin with an overview of the history of fire safety legislation.While it is true that most fire safety legislation is written with the aim of averting fires, it is also the case that much of it...

    Read more...

Case Studies

Brentwood Town Hall Redevelopment
The redevelopment of Brentwood Town Hall included renovating the existing five storey property to provide police and council offices, a community hub and lettable office space across the basement, gro...

Read more..

General Bulletins

Fire - The External Risk
When we consider fire safety, our focus is normally from within, what can we do to prevent the occurrence of fire and how we can limit its damage.  Whilst this is the correct stance to take, we m...

Read more..

Technical Bulletins

Evacuation Modelling - Factor in Human Behaviour
Evacuation of buildings can be analyzed in different ways. Approved Document B (ADB) which provides guidance on meeting the requirements of the England and Wales Building Regulations with regard to fi...

Read more..

Site map | Web development Croydon