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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Safety & Housing Legislation – Part 53

July 6, 2020 1:22 pm

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 52, LWF began to look at housing legislation and how it relates to fire safety legislation. In part 53, we will continue looking at the assessment of fire safety risk in houses in multiple occupation.

In Scotland, houses requiring licensing under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 are included in the scope of Scotland’s fire safety legislation, in contrast to the situation in England and Wales, where only the common parts of houses of multiple occupancy are covered by the Fire Safety Order.

Liaison is necessary between housing authorities and fire and rescue authorities to allow for enforcement of legislation relating to fire precautions in houses of multiple occupation.

Prior to the enactment of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, there was a considerable amount of legislation in England and Wales on the subject of fire safety. The vast majority of this was repealed when the Fire Safety Order was introduced, as its aim was to bring together the many strands of fire law into one cohesive approach.

Under the terms of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 no longer applies to premises covered by the Fire Safety Order, in so far as the Act relates to matters such as means of escape, fire alarm systems, fire extinguishing appliances etc., where the Fire Safety Order applies. This prevents any element of ‘doubling up’ on general fire precautions.

There are some areas where the disapplication does not apply, such as situations where the enforcing authority for fire safety legislation is the same as the enforcing authority for Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act, as in the case of some construction sites. It also does not apply to any sites under which the Control of Major Accidents Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH) is relevant. For this reason, COMAH contains requirements in respect of fire precautions in addition to the requirements of the relevant fire safety legislation.

In part 54, LWF will look at civil liability in respect of loss or injury as a result of fire. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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