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Fire Door Legislation


The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) came into effect in October 2006 and replaced over 70 pieces of fire safety law.

The FSO applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, including the common parts of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The law applies to you if you are:

  • responsible for business premises
  • an employer or self-employed with business premises
  • responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
  • a charity or voluntary organisation
  • a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
    providing accommodation for paying guests

In short it means that any person who has some level of control in premises must take reasonable steps to reduce risk from fire and make sure people can escape safely escape if there is a fire.

The order places an obligation to ensure the fire safety of a premises on the "responsible person". The 'responsible person' is someone who has control, or a degree of control, over premises or fire-prevention systems within premises. If you are the responsible person, you must make sure that everyone who uses your premises can escape if there is a fire. The RRO defines the responsible person as follows:

Meaning of “responsible person”

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

3. In this Order “responsible person” means—

(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;

(b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)—

(i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

(ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking

Amongst a range of other duties the "responsible person" must ensure that all fire safety measures are maintained and readily available as defined in Part 2 Fire Safety Duties Provision 17 of the order.

17.—(1) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the responsible person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises under this Order or, subject to paragraph (6), under any other enactment, including any enactment repealed or revoked by this Order, are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

According to research from the insurer Norwich Union, 38% of offices are unaware of the requirements of the FSO, with over one third of firms failing to carry out a crucial fire risk assessment.

Source - Building Research Establishment May 2009

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 - website >

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 - Original Print PDF download >

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