The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 10

September 9, 2019 12:22 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 9, we looked at fire safety legislation, in terms of the local acts which historically affected additional requirements. In part 10, we will discuss the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which actually came into force towards the end of 2006, bringing sweeping changes to legislation in the fire safety arena.

The introduction of the newly-released Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) on 1st October 2006 caused a total restructure of fire safety legislation in England and Wales. Dealing with fire safety in occupied buildings, the act repealed virtually all previous legislation on the subject and amended what remained.

The Fire Precautions Act 1971 allowed for fire certificates to be issued by the fire and rescue authority for common places of work in Great Britain. Its repeal meant that no further certificates would be issued and that existing fire certificates ceased to be effective from the 1st October 2006 when the RRFSO came into effect.

The Fire Certificates (Special Premises) Regulations 1976 was repealed and with it the requirement to issue fire certificates to high-hazard and construction sites by the Health and Safety Executive was also gone.

Some legislation which was repealed was retained, in essence, in the content of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and those parts of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which related to requirements of a managerial nature in respect of fire safety were two of the regulations affected.

The reason for the content of these repealed regulations being retained in the RRFSO is that they were brought into force originally to satisfy the requirements of two European directives – the Framework Directive and the Workplace Directive. The requirements were therefore incorporated into the RRFSO.

Also incorporated was the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which had also been produced as a result of European directives.

The aim of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order was not to fulfil previous European directives, however, as this had already been achieved through the now-repealed acts. Its main purpose was to reshape fire safety legislation and to consolidate and rationalise fire safety legislation, which had previously been fragmented across many different documents, into a single legislative instrument.

In part 11 of this series, LWF will continue discussing the changes brought about by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 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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