Fire safety in the workplace—regulatory requirements
Produced in partnership with Melanie O'Brien of DG Legal
Fire safety in the workplace—regulatory requirements

The following Practice Management practice note Produced in partnership with Melanie O'Brien of DG Legal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fire safety in the workplace—regulatory requirements
  • Legislative requirements
  • Who is a ‘responsible person’?
  • General fire precautions
  • Identifying and managing fire risks
  • Means of escape and evacuation
  • Detecting and fighting fires
  • Arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire
  • Signs and signals
  • High risk activities and dangerous substances
  • More...

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to fire safety in the workplace. It covers fire safety requirements in an office-based workplace. Other industry/premises-specific requirements may apply in different environments. Building regulations requirements in relation to fire safety are outside the scope of this Practice Note.

For practical information about managing fire safety in an office-based workplace, see Practice Note: Managing fire safety in the workplace.

Legislative requirements

There are various legislative requirements relating to fire safety in the workplace, including in relation to:

  1. who is a ‘responsible person’

  2. general fire precautions, eg:

    1. identification and management of fire risks

    2. means of escape and evacuation

    3. detecting and fighting fires

    4. arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire

  3. signs and signals

  4. high risk activities and dangerous substances

When building new premises or doing building work on existing premises, you must comply with building regulations, which include designing fire safety into the proposed building or extension. Building regulations requirements are outside the scope of this Practice Note.

Who is a ‘responsible person’?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, SI 2005/1541 (RRO 2005) is the primary piece of legislation covering general fire safety in England and Wales. The RRO 2005 applies to all employers, regardless of the number of staff employed.

The approach of the RRO 2005 is that those best placed to identify and address fire risks should be responsible

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