Responsibilities of Fire Safety Order for building owners or managers
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (also known as the Fire Safety Order) is a UK law that sets out the fire safety responsibilities of building owners and managers and the steps they must take to reduce the risk of fire and protect people in the event of a fire.
The Fire Safety Order applies to most non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, including:
- Workplaces, such as offices, factories, and warehouses
- Public buildings, such as schools, hospitals, cinemas, and museums
- Residential buildings, such as flats, hotels, hostels, boarding houses
- Assembly and leisure buildings, such as places of worship, community halls, and sports stadiums
- Shops and retail premises
- Mixed-use buildings
Single-family homes are not covered, although it does apply to multi-occupancy houses in multiple occupations (HMOs). The Fire Safety Order places responsibility for fire safety in buildings on the “responsible person”. Depending on the circumstances, this can be the building’s owner, manager, or occupier.
The responsible person is responsible for:
- Ensuring that the premises reach the required standards.
- Providing employees or occupants with adequate fire safety training, which would include:
- Induction training to cover general fire awareness.
- Periodic refresher training or extra training where the level of fire risk increases as a result of changes in your operations.
- Training to support people in meeting their fire safety duties – for example, keeping your ‘responsible people’ up to date.
- Training to build appropriate skills such as fire risk assessment, fire warden or using fire extinguishers.
- Conducting a regular fire risk assessment to:
- Identify the fire hazards.
- Identify people at risk.
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
- Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.
It’s important to note that these are general responsibilities, and the specific requirements can vary depending on the type and use of the building. More information is available from the government’s Fire safety in the workplace site, or, as always, Garland UK are here to help; please contact one of our Technical Managers if you would like further advice or to arrange a complimentary roof assessment.
How can roofing be upgraded to meet the safety standard
If, during the course of conducting a fire risk assessment, you discover that your roof is not up to standard, there are a number of potential solutions available to you. Garland UK’s range of Cold Applied Liquid Roofing Systems can be applied to most roofing surfaces without the need for a full roof replacement. It can be installed quickly and will immediately reclass your roof to a BROOF(t4) standard. Our R-MER CLAD could also be used to overclad the existing roofing structure, which would again reclass the roof to BROOF(t4).
If there are issues relating to the fire compartmentation where it joins the roof, then internal works would need to occur. If budgets allow, the existing roofing structure can be removed and replaced with one of our Metal or Green Roofing systems.
Practical advice to make your building safe
Here are some practical steps building owners and managers can take to help ensure the safety of your building and its occupants:
- Conduct a thorough risk assessment: Start by conducting a thorough assessment of the building and building envelope to identify any potential fire and safety hazards, including the condition of fire-resistant elements, roof membranes, and roof components.
- Upgrade fire-resistant elements: Upgrade fire-resistant elements such as walls, floors, and ceilings to ensure they meet the latest fire-resistance standards.
- Maintain fire safety systems: Regularly maintain and test fire safety systems, including fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and emergency lighting, to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Educate occupants: Occupants should be familiar with the building’s fire safety procedures, including evacuation routes and the use of fire alarms and sprinkler systems.
- Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the building envelope and roof to ensure it is in good condition and identify and address any potential hazards.