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Fire Risk Assessment for Healthcare Premises – FSO and Enforcement– Part 78

March 21, 2022 12:07 pm

LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals aims to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 77 of Fire Risk Assessments for Healthcare Premises, LWF looked the statutory requirements for fire risk assessment in healthcare buildings. In part 78, we consider how the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is enforced.

In England and Wales, the fire authorities have a statutory duty to enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Fire safety law used to be prescriptive in approach, which means that there were set options for and solutions to fire safety issues. In this circumstance, fire certificates were issued whereby enforcing authorities directed the requirements.

The FSO implemented a system of risk-based assessment and compliance. The responsibility for compliance lies with the Responsible Person, who is either nominated for the task or who is, by default, the most senior executive of an organisation. The FSO is applied to any organisation with more than five employees.

The fire authority’s role is to monitor compliance with the FSO by ensuring a suitable fire risk assessment has been carried out in the premises.

Guidance on how to carry out fire safety risk assessments is provided on the website. They provide recommendations and benchmarks on the adequacy of fire precautions in premises subject to the Fire Safety Order, but particularly in the case of large organisations or complex buildings as is the case with most healthcare buildings, it is prudent for the Responsible Person to be suitably experienced and/or qualified in fire safety matters.

In the case of healthcare buildings, HTM 05-03 Part K is considered a valid way to comply with fire safety law by the Chief Fire Officers’ Association, however, it should be used in conjunction with the rest of the HTM 05-03 documents.

The government has produced a Fire and Rescue National Framework which lays out priorities for Fire Authorities and looks to promote public safety and effectiveness of authorities. The framework requires authorities to have a fire safety audit and inspection programme forming part of its integrated risk management plan.

In Part 79 of LWF’s blog series, LWF continue to look at Fire Authorities and their duties in overseeing fire safety provisions in healthcare buildings and all other buildings in their remit. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

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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