The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005 – Part 24

December 16, 2019 2:19 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 23, LWF looked at the parties referred to in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 as ‘Relevant Persons’ and considered preventative and protective measures. In part 24, we will discuss the duties of the Responsible Person (RP) in relation to fire precautions.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO), Article 18 (RRFSO) requires that an organisation determine who the RP is for the premises, or company where the business inhabits more than one set of premises. Once decided upon, the RP is expected to fulfil certain duties, one of which relates to fire precautions.

Article 8(1) of the RRFSO tasks the responsible person with taking ‘general fire precautions’ as will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of any employees of the business or premises for which they are responsible. ‘Reasonably practicable’ in this instance would mean that any risk must be weighed against the cost, difficulty and practicality of addressing the risk. The cost element is relative only to the risk, not to the funds available to the company. For instance, a large company with a healthy financial status would not be expected to undertake a measure to reduce risk that a less well-off company would not.

Article 8(2) requires that general fire precautions as may be reasonably required in the circumstances should be taken to protect persons who are not employees and to ensure the premises are safe.

General fire precautions are defined in the RRFSO as follows:

1. Measures to reduce the risk of fire on the premises and the risk of fire spreading on the premises.
2. Measures in relation to means of escape from the premises.
3. Measures to ensure that at all material times, means of escape can be effectively and safely used.
4. Measures for fighting fires on the premises
5. Measures to detect fire on the premises and give warning of fire on the premises; and
6. Measures for action to be taken in the event of fire on the premises, to include:
a. The instruction and training of employees; and
b. Measures to mitigate the effects of a fire on the premises.

In part 25, LWF will continue looking at the duties of the Responsible Person in relation to 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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