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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 13

September 30, 2019 1:37 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 12, we looked at the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) and those buildings which are definitively not covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In part 13, LWF will discuss the RRFSO and Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in more detail, as well as looking at those grey areas which may arise when attempting to establish if premises fall under the RRFSO or not.

The common parts of HMOs and blocks of flats are stated as included in the RRFSO in England and Wales, but excluded from the equivalent regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It should be noted that as per Article 31 of the Fire Safety Order, a prohibition notice can be served on an HMO and this is not limited to only the common parts.

While there are potentially some grey areas in what comprises a private dwelling vs those places which are multiple occupancy, the spirit of the RRFSO seems to be that private dwellings are considered those which are occupied by one person or single household. One such example might be that a group of student friends could get together and take out a rental agreement on a house, where they will all have their own room. One rental agreement could therefore indicate one household in this case. A group of students can also rent rooms in a house of multiple occupancy and each have their own agreement with the landlord. The property and its common parts would not be considered a private dwelling in the eyes of the RRFSO and therefore would be subject to the RRFSO requirements.

Holiday lets are another grey area for consideration. A hotel is obviously not domestic premises, as each room is let individually for short periods of time. Holiday park chalets or static caravan sites are also not exempt from the requirements of the RRFSO, as they could be considered essentially the same as a hotel. There are sites, however, which only house those caravans or chalets which are privately owned and are not let out for holidays or breaks and these may be considered a collection of private dwellings. However, it may be that any communal areas or shared facilities would be subject to the Fire Safety Order.

LWF will continue discussing the RRFSO and private dwellings in more detail in part 14 of this blog series. 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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