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 guidance 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
  • Consequences of non-compliance

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to fire safety in the workplace.

For practical information about managing fire safety in the 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

Building regulations 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 RRO 2005 came into force on 1 October 2006.

The approach of the RRO 2005 is that those best placed to identify and address fire risks should be responsible for doing so. The RRO 2005 places duties on a responsible person.

A responsible person is:

  1. the employer—in relation to a workplace and to the extent that the workplace is under their control

  2. the owner of, or person who has, control of premises—in relation to other