The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to virtually all non-domestic premises.
Often referred to as the Fire Safety Order, or the RRO, it places greater emphasis on fire prevention in non-domestic premises. This includes the voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes.
It also applies to open air events such as sporting events, street festivals, county fairs and other similar activities.
The Order applies in England and Wales. It covers ‘general fire precautions’ and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect people in case of fire in and around most premises.
The Order requires fire precautions to be put in place ‘where necessary’ and to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances of the case.
The Fire Safety Team
The role of the Fire Safety team (also known as Protection) is to enhance safety in public buildings and other premises. We do this through a team of specialist officers, who ensure that the fire safety aspects of commercial building design, and subsequent occupied use, are correctly identified and applied.
We also enforce fire legislation in all commercial premises as far as it applies to general fire safety measures. To achieve this, our staff will engage in activities that include carrying out fire safety audits of premises subject to the RRO.
We will also initiate enforcement action, appropriate to the circumstances, to correct instances of non-compliance where we find it. The options we have are as follows:
- Providing general advice – using our experience and knowledge to help make safe premises even safer.
- Letter of Fire Safety Matters – an informal notification served where corrective action is needed.
- Enforcement Notice – a formal notice requiring specific remedial action.
- Alterations Notice – a notice to prevent changes to certain existing fire safety arrangements without prior notification to the Fire Authority.
- Prohibition or Restriction Notice – a notice to prevent all or part of a premises from being used or a specific activity from taking place.
- Prosecution – we will consider prosecution in extreme cases of safety critical non-compliance or flagrant breaches of the law.
The Fire Safety Team also:
- Undertakes statutory consultations with Building Control bodies and Approved Inspectors, in order to ensure compliance in the built environment and reduce fire risks by design.
- Undertakes consultations and joint inspections with other enforcing agencies.
- Provides advice and guidance to building developers, owners, managers and others within the business community.
- Undertakes publicity and education campaigns, where appropriate, to ensure a clear understanding of, and compliance with, fire safety legislation.