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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Safety Regulations in Scotland – Part 48

June 1, 2020 1:14 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 47, LWF looked at the role of dutyholders in Scottish fire legislation. In part 48, we will continue to look at the commonalities and differences between Scottish fire safety legislation and that in England and Wales.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales uses the term ‘preventive and protective measures’ which is taken from the European Directives on fire safety. The term refers to the general fire precautions necessary for compliance with the Order, as indicated by the results of the fire risk assessment. The general fire precautions to be taken are to ensure the safety of employees and any relevant person who is not an employee.

The Scottish fire safety legislation – Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005  and Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 does not use the term ‘preventive and protective’ but instead refers to ‘the Chapter 1 duties which are those duties referred to in Chapter 1 of Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act. In Chapter 1, the principal dutyholders are charged with taking appropriate ‘fire safety measures’, the definition of which is the same as that for ‘general fire precautions’ in England and Wales. This has made the task of meeting requirements less onerous for those businesses operating throughout Great Britain.

In addition, the ‘principles of prevention’ referred to in the Fire Safety Order are identical to the ‘considerations’ under which the Fire (Scotland) Act forms the basis for fire safety measures.

In Scotland, as well as in England and Wales, a fire risk assessment must be carried out to determine what fire safety measures are required.

Part III of the Fire (Scotland) Regulations sets out specific requirements in relation to fire safety measures that must be taken. Equivalent requirements can be found in England and Wales, due to the fact that both countries based their regulations on the European Directives.

Requirements in Scotland relating to means of escape, fire escape signage and emergency escape lighting are set out in Regulation 13, the terms of which are almost identical to Article 13 of the Fire Safety Order. Equally, Regulation 12 of the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations which details requirements on fire-fighting and fire warning are mirrored in Article 13 of the Fire Safety Order.

Other areas of commonality include fire procedures, fire drills, employee training, provision of information to employees and to third parties, cooperation and coordination between parties in premises of multiple occupation, maintenance of fire precautions and recording of the fire safety arrangements.

In part 49, LWF will look at the duties of employees under Scottish legislation and how it is enforced. 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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