The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 15

October 14, 2019 12:47 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 14, LWF discussed the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) and considered the grey area which may arise when attempting to establish if premises fall under the RRFSO or not. In part 15, we continue in that vein to discuss work environments which involve sleeping or living on the premises.

Working environments which require overnight staffing, on-call personnel or provide sleeping quarters for staff who have worked long hours, and may be on shift again in a short space of time, are another potential grey area for the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO).

A block of flats which has a resident caretaker who lives on-site in his/her own flat could be regarded as a private dwelling. However, whether the caretaker pays rent for the flat or not, might affect whether or not it falls into the remit of the RRFSO. If he/she pays rent then it is a private abode and would not come under the RRFSO. If the property is provided for him/her rent free, the implication is that the caretaker has to be on the premises and so it could be subject to the RRFSO.

Equally, a member of staff who is housed on the premises of a business and who is expected to be on-call, a domicile with an area for work equipment (such as CCTV monitors) or someone who is expected to be on site and in their home at certain hours as a part of their job might all come under the RRFSO.

Just when it might seem fairly clear, a spanner can be thrown into the works. Someone who works from home for their employer and puts a room aside for that purpose is not subject to the requirements of the RRFSO. For instance, a sewing machinist or an office worker who work from home would be outside the scope of the RRFSO, but would perhaps be within the remit of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

However, if a home needs the work of care givers or nursing staff, that does not make it professional premises or make the home into a workplace.

When an organisation or individual is in doubt as to whether their premises are subject to the RRFSO, it is best to take advice from a suitably-qualified fire expert.

LWF will continue discussing the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in Part 16 of this 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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