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Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 38

March 23, 2020 2:13 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 37, LWF considered what an alteration notice might contain, which would be issued following an inspection by the enforcing authority. In Part 38, consider the offences possible under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The main offences possible under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 relate to requirements or prohibitions specified under fire safety duties and notices issued under the order.

The Responsible Person or any other person deemed to have control of the premises (on a permanent or temporary basis, as this may apply to contractors on site, for instance) must adhere with any requirement within the order, through Articles 8-22 (fire safety duties) and 38 (maintenance of measures provided for protection of firefighters) and a failure to comply is considered an offence. A failure in one of those areas may place one or more people at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire.

Equally, if an alterations notice or enforcement notice has been issued by the enforcing authority, it must be complied with or an offence has been committed under the Order.

The Order requires compliance in relation to luminous discharge tube signs and a failure in this regard is considered an offence, as is a failure to give notice.

Offences under the Order are not just restricted to the Responsible Person or those persons deemed to have control of the premises. Any person can be found to be in contravention of the Order and commit an offence.

All employees are expected to comply with the general duties placed upon them by the Order and a failure to comply which places one or more persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of a fire is an offence.

Equally, any prohibition or restriction imposed by a prohibition notice must be adhered to by employees.

It is expected that any employee will not make false entries in a book, document or register, or provide false information. They must not obstruct or mislead an inspector or fail to comply with the requirements of the inspector, or pretend to be an inspector with the intent to deceive.

It should be noted that the organisation will be considered equally responsible for an employee’s offences under the Order, and that therefore the body corporate as well as the officer is guilty of that offence.

In part 39, LWF will look at the defences and appeals under the 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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