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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 23

December 9, 2019 3:37 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 22, LWF looked at the role of Competent Persons nominated who have been appointed to assist the Responsible Person. In part 23, we discuss the parties referred to in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 as ‘Relevant Persons’ before considering preventative and protective measures.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO), Article 18 exists primarily to protect relevant persons from fire. This means that any person who is lawfully on the premises is a relevant person and has a right to expect a suitable level of protection from fire. The relevant person could be an employee, visitor, customer, contractor, management team and the responsible person themselves. Anyone who is in the vicinity of the premises, or anyone who has to pass close by the premises, such as those using a common escape route in a commercial building of multiple occupation are also relevant persons.

Firefighters are not relevant persons in this scenario and the RRFSO does not place a responsibility on the Responsible Person to protect firefighters from a fire on the premises. There is, however, a responsibility for equipment that is provided for the safety of firefighters to be adequately and regularly maintained.

The over-arching phrase ‘preventative and protective measures’ indicates those duties the responsible person, with the assistance of competent persons, must fulfil. These are the measures which were identified and defined by the completion of the fire risk assessment as ‘general fire precautions’ needed for compliance.

Upon completion of a fire risk assessment, various risks will be identified and appropriate solutions worked out for each area of risk. While some may be immediately actionable (such as clearing an escape route), some actions may take a little more time to organise (sprinklers in a high-risk storage area). Even those actions which cannot be actioned and completed immediately must be subject to a plan and timeline which show that progress is being made and that remedial supplementary actions are being taken in the meantime to mitigate the level of risk (this may be storing the high-risk items at an off-site facility until the work can be completed, for example).

In part 24, LWF will discuss the duties of the responsible person regarding fire precautions. 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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