From 1 October 2006, fire safety law in England has changed. The following is a list of "top ten facts" regarding the changes:
Existing fire safety legislation has been repealed and replaced with a new fire safety regime.
Fire certificates have been abolished. If you have an existing fire certificate it is no longer valid.
The new fire safety regime is based on the principles of risk assessment and the requirement to take steps to prevent fire and mitigate the detrimental effects of a fire on the premises to ensure the safety of persons.
The new fire safety regime applies to nearly all non-domestic premises in England along with those Houses in Multiple Occupation which require a license.
If you have any degree of control over premises covered by the fire safety regime then you are likely to have some responsibility for fire safety but this responsibility will be in direct proportion to your level of control i.e. the more control you have, the greater your responsibility. But additionally, an employer will always retain responsibility for the safety of his or her employees.
More than one person can have fire safety responsibilities for the premises. For example, an employer, owner, landlord, tenant or a contractor carrying out repair work may each have fire safety responsibilities for the premises and are required to co-operate with each other and co-ordinate their fire safety measures.
If you have responsibility through having some degree of control, you are required to undertake a fire safety risk assessment in respect of the premises to the extent of your control and you need to consider the outcome of this assessment and take appropriate action as necessary.
You must review your fire safety risk assessment regularly and update it if required.
In some cases, the fire safety risk assessment will have to be recorded, such as where, a license or registration is required for the premises, the enforcing authority has issued a formal alterations notice' requiring this or where an employer employs 5 or more employees.
Premises covered by the fire safety regime may be inspected or audited by an enforcement officer to ensure compliance with the law (in most cases the enforcing authority will be the local Fire and Rescue Service).