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Firstly, the fire regulations in England and Wales are covered by the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and came into force on 1 October 2006. The Order applies to almost all buildings, places and structures. It does not include individual private homes and individual flats in a block. Other places covered by the Order include shared areas in houses in multiple occupation (HMO's), communal areas of blocks of flats and holiday lets.
We have included below the Article 9 from the Fire Safety Order which directly relate to the fire regulations regarding the Fire Risk Assessment for the Responsible Person.
Its very important to have a Fire Risk Assessment in place as if the Fire and Rescue Service visit your premises this will be the first document they will need to inspect. They will then decide if it is suitable and sufficient. The Fire and Rescue Service can issue Notices to ensure that any deficiencies are rectified within a specified time. Failure to comply has substantial penalties ranging from fines up to £5000 for minor offences. Major fire safety breach penalties can be anything from an unlimited fine, up to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment.
The fire regulation Notices that can be issued are -
You could get an Alterations Notice if your premises have high safety risks or will have high safety risks if the use of the premises changes.
You could get an enforcement notice if the Fire and Rescue authority finds a serious risk that’s not being managed. It will advise what improvements are needed by a specified date.
These take effect immediately if the fire and rescue authority thinks the fire risk is so great that access to your premises needs to be prohibited or restricted.
You may be able to arrange an informal review from your Fire and Rescue authority if you disagree with the decision to issue a fire safety notice. You can appeal to your local magistrates’ court within 21 days of receiving a fire regulations notice. In certain circumstances, you and the fire and rescue authority can ask for a ‘determination’ from the Communities Secretary to resolve a dispute.
See below Article 9 of the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which directly relates to the fire regulations regarding the Fire Risk Assessment. See the full Fire Safety Order.
9.—(1) The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him by or under this Order.
(2) Where a dangerous substance is or is liable to be present in or on the premises, the risk assessment must include consideration of the matters set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1.
(3) Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date and particularly if—
(a) there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid; or
(b) there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates including when the premises, special, technical and organisational measures, or organisation of the work undergo significant changes, extensions, or conversions, and where changes to an assessment are required as a result of any such review, the responsible person must make them.
(4) The responsible person must not employ a young person unless he has, in relation to risks to young persons, made or reviewed an assessment in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (5).
(5) In making or reviewing the assessment, the responsible person who employs or is to employ a young person must take particular account of the matters set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1.
(6) As soon as practicable after the assessment is made or reviewed, the responsible person must record the information prescribed by paragraph (7) where —
(a) he employs five or more employees;
(b) a licence under an enactment is in force in relation to the premises; or
(c) an alterations notice requiring this is in force in relation to the premises.
(7) The prescribed information is —
(a) the significant findings of the assessment, including the measures which have been or will be taken by the responsible person pursuant to this Order; and
(b) any group of persons identified by the assessment as being especially at risk.
(8) No new work activity involving a dangerous substance may commence unless—
(a) the risk assessment has been made; and
(b) the measures required by or under this Order have been implemented.