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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 30

January 27, 2020 4:05 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 29, LWF began to consider measures for securing means of escape, before discussing firefighting and fire detection. In part 30, we will continue to discuss firefighting and fire detection as per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Specific requirements relating to general fire precautions can be found in Article 13 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO). The order requires that the responsible person should, where necessary:

– Take measures for fire-fighting on the premises, adapted to the nature of the activities carried on there, the size of the undertaking and the premises concerned;
– Nominate competent persons to implement those measures and ensure that the number of such persons, their training and the equipment available to them are adequate, taking into account the size of, and the specific hazards involved in, the premises concerned; and
– Arrange any necessary contacts with external emergency services, particularly as regards fire-fighting, rescue work, first aid and emergency medical care.

The first point relates to the provision of suitable firefighting equipment. An example would be the provision of wet chemical extinguishers and fire blankets in a kitchen using deep fat fryers. There would be no point at all providing a standard water extinguisher to use for such a purpose.

The second point, naturally, relates to ensuring that there are persons who are able to operate the extinguisher in case the fat fryer catches fire. Such people receive specific training in first-aid firefighting enabling them to use the firefighting equipment in a fire situation. These are known as competent persons. The training should also enable them to know when a fire is too large for the competent persons to tackle and when they should evacuate.

The third point simply relates to contact with those outside agencies who may be needed on site when a fire emergency has taken place. It is important to ensure that people are nominated and trained in making the calls to the emergency services in a timely and efficient manner and giving all relevant information. It may also be necessary for this person, or another trained competent person to meet the services upon their arrival and ensure they are briefed on all necessary details and any hazards. In addition, in premises which are large or complex, it is appropriate to have a liaison with the Fire Service to make them familiar with the building layout and facilities prior to any incident taking place.

In part 31, LWF will discuss the managerial requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. 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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