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Introduction 2
1. Purpose of this guidance 3
2. Primary Legislation 4
2.1 Definitions 7
3. Responsibilities for compliance 9
4. Fire Risk Assessor 10
5. Evacuation of disabled people 12
6. Fire Risk Assessment 13
7. Enforcement 14
8. Summary of Responsibilities 15
9. Interaction with other legislation 17
10. Summary 19
11. The fire safety management policy 20
12. How to carry out a fire risk assessment 21
13. Fire safety training for staff 23
14. Fire Marshals 25
15. Fire Drills 26
16. Case Law 29
APPENDIX 1: Legislative Road Map 34
APPENDIX 2: Technical guidance 38
APPENDIX 3: Legal notices 40
APPENDIX 4: Generic Fire Safety Management Policy 42
APPENDIX 5: Fire Safety Checklist 46

Authors: Robert Greenfield MD of

Assured Safety and Risk Management
Limited and Michael J W Morgan MD of
Safety Action Services
Peer reviewer: Paul Szemerej, Director,
Firesafe (Fire Safety Management)
MANAGING FIRE SAFETY Consultants Limited

Continuing your professional

development (CPD) is all
about keeping on the
ISBN: 978-1-909761-20-9 © The Good Practice Guides series is
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Developments in facilities Date: January 2016 Management (BIFM). The guides do not
management come thick and
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Managing Fire Safety GPG 1


Fire Safety Management is of the Things are somewhat more straight forward
utmost importance within an organisation now with the Regulatory Reform (Fire
as a majority of fires are preventable Safety) Order 2005 which came into effect
but when they do occur then the in October 2006 and replaced the seventy
potential losses can result in a majority or so pieces of fire safety law and also the
of organisations never recovering. It is Fire Certificate which is now, in effect,
therefore important to have an effective replaced by having a suitable and sufficient
fire safety management system. Fire Risk Assessment for your premises.

In the past a facilities manager had This guide also takes into account the
to be aware of over seventy separate separate legislation, which applies in
pieces of legislation including the Fire Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Precautions Act 1971, the Fire Precautions
(Workplace) Regulations 1997(amended
1999) and the Management of Health
and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,
to name but a few. In addition the
facilities manager was also required to
contend with the requirements of the
fire certificate issued to the building,
which required a basic standard of fire
prevention and control and was
inevitably monitored by the local issuing
fire authority.

2 GPG Managing Fire Safety

1. P

The purpose of this guide is to

summarise the fire safety legislation as well
as the fire safety legislative responsibilities The majority of fires are
of the occupiers, employers, owners, preventable.
managers and individuals in the workplace.
It takes into account the Fire Safety
Legislation in England & Wales, Scotland and
Northern Ireland which place responsibility
on the employers, occupiers and owners of For the purposes of this guidance we have
all buildings (other than premises consisting referred to the person with this prime
of or comprised in a single private dwelling), legislative responsibility throughout the
and in particular those responsible for the document as the ‘responsible person’.
day-to-day management of the buildings. (See definitions on page 7).
The legislation varies, but for simplicity the You will find guidance on the fire safety
guide refers to the ‘legislation’ and, except legislative processes and the legislative
where indicated, it applies in England, responsibilities that apply throughout the
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. critical stages of a building’s lifecycle.
During the ‘in use’ life of a building the However, this guide focuses on the
prime legislative responsibility for ensuring legislation and responsibilities that relate to
and maintaining a fire-safe building in a building in use.
England and Wales is the ‘responsible Please note that the legislation that applies
person’, in Scotland, the ‘duty holder’ and in in the Channel Islands (Fire Precautions
Northern Ireland, ‘the appropriate person’. (Jersey) Law 1977) and the Isle of Man
(See definitions on page 7 and 8). (Fire Precautions Act 1975 & Fire Services
Act 1984.) differs slightly to that detailed
here however, much of this guidance
will provide a firm basis for use in these

Managing Fire Safety GPG 3

2. P

The primary legislation is as follows: If you are a building owner, landlord or

occupier of a building or some other
England & Wales – The Regulatory Reform non-domestic premises then you will be
(Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all responsible under the legislation for fire
non-domestic premises and includes the safety and will in effect be the ‘responsible
common parts of houses and blocks of person’. In practice this duty is most likely
apartments and flats, which are in to form part of the remit of the facilities or
multiple-occupation. health and safety manager.
The core duties remain the same but The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
different legislation applies to Scotland and 2005, Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and
Northern Ireland as follows: The Fire Safety (Scotland) regulations
2006 replaced most previous fire safety
Scotland – The Fire Safety (Scotland) legislation on 1 October 2006. Any ‘fire
Regulations 2006 made under the Fire certificate’ issued under previous legislation
(Scotland) Act 2005 which came into ceased to have any effect from that date.
effect on 1st October 2006; Similarly, risk assessments carried out prior
to this date would need to be reviewed for
Northern Ireland – The Fire and Rescue
Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
and the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Similarly in Northern Ireland the Fire Safety
Ireland) 2010 which came into effect on Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 came
15th November 2010. into effect on 15th November 2010 and as
a result any ‘fire certificate’ issued, or fire
risk assessment completed, under previous
legislation, will cease to have effect from
the date these regulations come into
In premises owned or occupied by the
Crown (including those partly occupied
by the Crown) the enforcement of the
legislation will be the responsibility of one
of a number of Crown Bodies (depending
on the nature of the premises and the
legislation that applies). Where appropriate
facilities managers should seek to work
with the government occupiers as per the
guidance in this document.

4 GPG Managing Fire Safety

In order to be fully compliant with current
fire safety legislation the ‘responsible
person’ is required to ensure that there is A fire safety policy is key to
a robust fire safety management system in fire safety management
place within their building.
and prevention.
As explained earlier the Responsible Person
will be one of the following persons/
positions and should be formally appointed
so as to be able to understand their In order to comply with the above absolute
responsibilities: - requirement the ‘responsible person’ should
> the employer ensure that the following are in place:

> occupiers and owners of all buildings > Fire Safety Policy or Fire Strategy – to
(other than domestic premises) demonstrate how the organisation will
prevent fire and manage fire safety
> those responsible for the day-to-day
management of the buildings > Fire Risk Assessment – to demonstrate
that the organisation has identified
This requirement is implied within Article 8 all of the hazards present and persons
of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order that may be affected and has sufficient
2005, where the responsible person must: controls in situ to reduce the fire
> take such general fire precautions safety risks
as will ensure, so far as is reasonably > Maintenance scheme – to ensure
practicable, the safety of any of his that assets within the building are
employees; and maintained in accordance with
> in relation to relevant persons who statutory requirements and also as
are not his employees, take such part of the fire precautions policy of
general fire precautions as may the organisation
reasonably be required in the
circumstances of the case to ensure
that the premises are safe

Managing Fire Safety GPG 5

It is important to distinguish between the In effect for the facilities manager who may
separate requirements here to ensure the well take on the role of the ‘responsible
safety of not only employees but also that person’ the quality and depth of the fire
the premises are safe for relevant persons, safety arrangements for any given premises
which demonstrates the level of control will vary drastically in accordance with the
that the ‘responsible person’ will have over very nature and activities of the premises.
employees of their organisation. However However, management should be able
this will not be the same for a non- to demonstrate that they have a policy
employee and therefore the premises must for the general running of their business,
be safe for all persons to use. that demonstrates that fire safety is an
In addition Article 11 of the Regulatory important consideration and that they
Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 calls for have preventative and protective measures
fire safety arrangements to be in place in place.
where the ‘responsible person’ must:
> Make and give effect to such
arrangements as are appropriate,
having regard to the size of his
undertaking and the nature of its
activities, for the effective planning,
organisation, control , monitoring
and review of the preventative and
protective measure; and
> Record the arrangements referred to
above where –
> Five or more employees are engaged
> A licence under an enactment is in
force in relation to the premises; or
> An alterations notice requiring
a record to be made of those
arrangements is in force in relation to
the premises

6 GPG Managing Fire Safety

2.1 Definitions

Definitions Definitions

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the associated
2005 Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006
Meaning of “responsible person” > 
Duty Holder
3. In this Order “responsible person” means— In a workplace, this could be the employer as
well as any other person who may have control
(a) in relation to a workplace, the employer,
to any extent of any part of the premises, for
if the workplace is to any extent under his
example, the occupier or owner. Employees
have a duty to cooperate with employers to
(b) in relation to any premises not falling within ensure the safety of others from fire.
paragraph (a)—
If you are the Duty Holder, you must carry out a
(i) the person who has control of the premises fire risk assessment of the premises, which must
(as occupier or otherwise) in connection with focus on the safety of all ‘relevant persons’ in
the carrying on by him of a trade, business or case of fire.
other undertaking (for profit or not); or
Your fire risk assessment will help you identify
(ii) the owner, where the person in control risks that can be removed or reduced and to
of the premises does not have control in decide the nature and extent of the general fire
connection with the carrying on by that person precautions you need to take to protect people
of a trade, business or other undertaking. against the fire risks that remain. If you employ
five or more people, you must record the
Relevant Person
significant findings of your risk assessment.
Throughout the legislation reference is made
A management commitment to fire safety is
to a ‘relevant person’. A relevant person is
essential to assist with achieving suitable fire
any person (including the ‘responsible person’)
safety standards in premises and to maintain a
who is, or may be, lawfully on the premises;
staff culture of fire safety.
and any person in the immediate vicinity of
the premises who is at risk from a fire on the It is a management responsibility to have
premises. both an emergency fire action plan and
arrangements to implement the plan. A written
While this definition does not include
emergency fire action plan should be kept on
firefighters engaged in fire fighting it does add
the premises, be available to and known by
a significant liability for the ‘responsible person’
staff, and form the basis of the training and
beyond the normal building environment.
instruction, which is provided to all staff. This
plan should be available for inspection by the
enforcing authority.
Relevant Premises
The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (Relevant
Premises) Regulations 2012, which can be
found at Government Legislation website
(“the 2012 Regulations”) took effect on 29
November 2012. These regulations amend the
definition of relevant premises in section 78 of
the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (“the 2005 Act”). 

Managing Fire Safety GPG 7

Definitions Definitions

The Fire & Rescue Services (Northern The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Ireland) Order 2006 and The Fire Safety defines competency as being a person who has
Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 sufficient training and experience or knowledge
and other qualities to enable them to carry out
Appropriate Person
the task at hand.
As an appropriate person with control over
non-domestic, industrial, commercial, leisure,
educational or healthcare premises the
legislation requires you to take responsibility for Further information on competency is
ensuring that your premises reach the required included in section 4 on page 10 and 11
fire safety standard.
“Fire Risk Assessor”.
The appropriate person must take reasonable
steps to:
> Reduce the risk from fire
> Ensure people are able to escape safely if
there is a fire
Main requirements:
> Carry out a fire risk assessment for the
premises over which you have control
> Identify the fire hazards and risks associated
with the premises, materials/substances,
activities etc
> Identify the people, or groups of people at
risk and anyone who may be especially at risk
> Remove and reduce the risks as far as
reasonably possible
> Put in place general fire precautions to deal
with any remaining risks
> Implement additional preventative and
protective measures if flammable or explosive
substances are used or stored on the premises
> Develop and implement appropriate
emergency procedures in the event of fire
> If you have five or more employees, or
require a licence or registration, you must
record the significant findings of the risk
assessment and any actions you have taken to
remove/reduce the risk
> Review the risk assessment periodically or
after significant changes in the matters to
which it relates

8 GPG Managing Fire Safety


The key focus for compliance is that persons on the premises or nearby can
Article 9 (1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire escape safely in the event of a fire
Safety) Order 2005 places responsibility for > Inform staff or their representatives
compliance with the fire safety legislation about the risks identified
on the ‘responsible person’ and in England
> Implement and maintain fire
and Wales this person must make a suitable
preventative measures
and sufficient assessment of the risks to
which relevant persons are exposed. > Maintain fire safety management
In Scotland this task falls to a ‘duty holder’ > Consider who may be particularly at
and in Northern Ireland ‘the appropriate risk such as disabled persons or those
person’ but although the title of the role is working with hazardous chemicals
different the core duties imposed on each > Have a fire management plan that
are the same. For the purposes of this deals with all contingencies including
guidance we always refer to this role as the evacuation
‘responsible person’.
> Provide fire safety training
The emphasis here in all cases is for risk
reduction and fire prevention and hence > Ensure that the findings are recorded if
the need for the ‘responsible person’ who more than five persons are employed
must undertake a number of duties related > Complete regular reviews
to fire safety including the following:
In shared multi occupancy premises there
> Appoint a competent person to carry is likely to be more than one ‘responsible
out a fire risk assessment of their person’ and in such cases it is important
premises and to identify and action that all occupiers coordinate their fire
all of the findings as a result of the fire safety plans.
risk assessment to ensure that so far
as is reasonably practicable, that ALL Legislative Road Map
The two major stages in a building’s
life in terms of fire safety are Building
Construction and Building In Use and are
detailed within the Legislative Road Map
shown in Appendix 1 on pages 34 to 37.
This legislative road Map shows applicable
legislation for each of the two stages,
enforcing bodies and guidance
documents available.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 9


Losses resulting from fire within an

organisation are invariably extremely Fire Risk management must
costly and in the case of the total loss of a be commensurate with the
building, this can lead to the organisation level of risk within your
never recovering and therefore fire risk premises.
management is becoming ever more
Within a more complex or high risk
environment, a stand-alone fire risk
assessment may be ineffective, unless the It follows that the Fire Risk Assessor should
organisation takes a holistic approach be competent in terms of their education,
to fire risk management and embeds skills, training and experience of the work
this into the organisational policies and and that they should hold membership of
overall management system. This ensures a professional association. It would also be
that there is an effective system to close desirable for them to hold some form of
out any actions as a result of the Fire Risk third party accreditation.
Assessment. It is also important that fire
The Fire Risk Assessor should have in depth
risk management is commensurate with
knowledge of the following elements of fire
the level of risk based upon the premises
and the organisations work activities and
processes. > Assessment of risk posed by fire
> Applicable Legislation
> Building Construction
> Suitable guidance
> Behaviour of fire in premises
> Fire effect on persons
> Behaviour of persons in a fire situation
> Means of escape
> Fire prevention and protection
> Fire Safety Management
> Protective and preventative fire safety

10 GPG Managing Fire Safety

For further information regarding Fire
Risk Assessor competency please visit the
The Fire Risk Assessor following organisations:
should be competent in Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE)
terms of their education, –
skills and experience. Fire Risk Management Competency Council
Fire Sector Federation

In addition, it is essential that any The British Fire Consortium

specialist contractors appointed to carry –
out any work associated with the fire risk London Fire Brigade
management process, have been evaluated –
and are competent to carry out the task
In addition the British Standards Institute
for which they are being engaged. This
(BSI) has published PAS 7: 2013 which is
could include work for example on the fire
a formal system for Fire Risk Management
alarm system, dry/wet riser, fire pumps, fire
which is designed to integrate with BS
suppression systems, sprinkler systems, fire
9999 the code of practice for the design,
pumps, fire extinguishers.
management and use of buildings and
The Fire Risk Management Competency also OHSAS 18001 the Health and Safety
Council has published guidance, for management system.
organisations and responsible persons,
on how to choose a fire risk assessor if
their own knowledge and experience is
insufficient to carry out this task. A major
trigger for enforcement notices being
issued is the lack of a suitable and sufficient
fire risk assessment being available.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 11


Although much thought is often

given, by the facility manager, to the
provision of enabling disabled people to Ensure attention is given
enter a building and use the facilities to the needs of disabled
within. It is common to find that far less people in the event of an
attention is given to their needs in an evacuation.
This is an important element of Fire Safety
to consider and one which is covered in
detail within the BIFM Inclusive Access,
Disability and the Equality Act Good
Practice Guide which may be found at the
following link:
In Northern Ireland please also refer to the
document ‘Means of Escape for Disabled
People (Supplementary Guide.)’, which
may be downloaded from the Communities
and Local Government section at the
following location:

12 GPG Managing Fire Safety


The fire risk assessment process is

the primary mechanism for identifying
fire hazards – ensuring appropriate The fire risk assessment
preventative and protective measures have must be a dynamic
been put in place, and the subsequent document and always
maintenance and review of fire safety. kept up to date.
A fire risk assessment must have been
completed from the moment a premises
was occupied (even if only partly). If five or
more people are employed; if the premises
are licensed; or if an ‘alterations notice’
is in force (see Enforcement, below), the In particular, the risk assessment must
significant findings of the assessment and focus on the safety in case of fire of all
any group of persons identified as being relevant persons. It should pay particular
especially at risk, must be recorded. attention to those at special risk, such as
The fire risk assessment must be a the disabled and those with special needs,
‘dynamic document’, kept up to date and and it must include consideration of any
always relevant to the premises and the dangerous substance, or process, liable to
circumstances concerned. be on the premises.
The fire risk assessment will help the Even if a fire certificate was previously
‘responsible person’ identify risks that issued in respect of the premises; or if a fire
can be removed or reduced and to risk assessment was completed under the
decide the nature and extent of the ‘Workplace Regulations’; or the premises
general fire precautions that need to be were built to recent ‘Building Regulations’;
taken to protect people against the fire the ‘responsible person’ will still need to
risks that remain. ensure that a fire risk assessment, covering
all the issues specified in the legislation and
any other fire-related risks, is completed by
a competent person. See How to carry out
a fire risk assessment, pages 21 to 22.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 13


In most premises the Fire & Rescue A. Alterations notice

Authority (the fire & rescue service) will If the premises are considered by the
enforce the legislation. enforcing authority to constitute a serious
They will have the power to inspect the risk or will if a change is made, they may
premises to check that the ‘responsible issue an alterations notice.
person’ is complying with their duties
B. Enforcement notice
under the legislation and they will look for
evidence that the ‘responsible person’ has If the enforcing authority believes the
carried out a suitable fire risk assessment ‘responsible person’ has failed to comply
and acted on the significant findings of it. with any provision of the legislation, they
If, as is likely, the outcome is required to be may issue an enforcement notice.
recorded they will expect to see a copy.
C. Prohibition notice
There are three types of notice (see
Appendix 3 for more details): (a) alterations If the enforcing authority is of the opinion
(b) enforcement, and (c) prohibition. that use of premises involves or will involve, a
risk to life so serious that use of the premises
The enforcing authority will usually ought to be prohibited or restricted, they
serve notices on the ‘responsible may issue a prohibition notice.
person’ (In Scotland, alteration and
enforcement notices are served on Failure to comply with any duty imposed
the duty holder/’responsible person’, by the legislation (if that failure places
but a prohibition notice is served on one or more relevant persons at risk), or
the occupier) as the first stage of any to comply with any notice issued by the
enforcement process. enforcing authority, is an offence. The
‘responsible person’ has a right of appeal to
a magistrates’ court, sheriff court or county
court against any notice issue.
In the case of a prohibition notice the
‘responsible person’ must still comply with
the requirements of the notice until the
appeal has been heard.
In addition, where the ‘responsible person’
agrees that there is a need for improvements
to the fire precautions but disagrees with the
enforcing authority on the technical solution
(eg, the type of fire alarm system needed)
they may agree to refer this for independent
determination – the enforcing authority will
provide details of the necessary process.

14 GPG Managing Fire Safety


From the information provided it is quite > If five or more people are employed, if
possible that the facilities manager will be the premises are licensed or subject to
determined to be a ‘responsible person’, registration or if an alterations notice
and quite possibly a competent person, is in force (see Enforcement, page
under the terms of the legislation. 40), you must record the significant
findings of the assessment. You must
The exact nature and extent of the also record those persons considered
responsibilities of the ‘responsible person’ especially at risk.
or competent person will vary. However, if
you are a ‘responsible person’ you will be > You must ensure that the fire risk
responsible for ensuring that appropriate assessment is a dynamic document,
fire safety measures are in place. These kept up-to-date and relevant to
include the following: the premises and circumstances
concerned and regularly monitored.
> You must ensure that from the
moment a premises is occupied > You must provide the employees
(even if partly) a fire risk assessment with easy to understand, relevant
is completed by a competent person. information on the risks identified by
Even unoccupied premises may the fire risk assessment; about the
require an assessment because a fire measures taken to prevent fires; and
could still have an effect on relevant how they will be protected if fire
persons in the vicinity or on visiting breaks out.
engineers, for example, carrying out > You must consult the employees (or
basic periodic wind and weather type their elected representatives) about
maintenance checks. nominating people to carry out
particular roles in connection with
fire safety and about proposals for
improving fire precautions.
> Before employing a Young Person
(Between MSLA and 18), you must
provide a parent or guardian with
easy to understand and relevant
information on the risks to that
young person identified by the risk
assessment, the measures that have
been put in place to prevent/protect
the young person from fire; and you
must inform any other responsible
person of any risks to that young
person arising from their undertaking.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 15

> You must consider the presence of any
dangerous substances and the risk this
Ensure co-operation with presents to relevant persons from fire.
other responsible persons > You must establish a suitable means
in multi-tenanted buildings of contacting the emergency services
and sites. and provide them with any relevant
information about dangerous
> Appropriate means of escape should
> You must inform non-employees, such
be provided.
as temporary or contract workers, of
the relevant risks to them, and provide > Where necessary you must provide the
them with information about who are premises with appropriate means of
the nominated competent persons, and warning and fire fighting equipment.
about fire safety procedures for > You must provide appropriate
the premises. information, instruction and
> You must co-operate with other training, during working hours to the
responsible persons who also have employees, about the fire precautions
premises in the building, and inform in the workplace, when (a) they start
them of any significant risks, and working in the workplace, and (b) from
reduce/control those risks that might time to time throughout the period
affect the safety of their employees. they work in the workplace.
> You must provide the employer of any > Where necessary you must
person from an outside organisation ensure that the premises and any
who is working in the premises (e.g., equipment provided in connection
an agency providing temporary staff) with firefighting, fire detection and
with easy to understand and relevant warning, or emergency routes and
information on the risks to those exits, are covered by a suitable system
employees and the preventive and of maintenance and are maintained in
protective measures taken. They must an efficient state, in efficient working
also provide those employees with order and in good repair.
appropriate instructions and relevant > Employees must co-operate with you
information about the risks to them. to ensure the workplace is safe from
> If you are not the employer but have fire and its effects, and must not do
any control of premises which contain anything that knowingly will place
more than one workplace, you must themselves or other people at risk.
ensure that the requirements of the Fire
Safety Order are complied with in those
parts over which you have control.

16 GPG Managing Fire Safety


Building Regulation approval

Normally, those involved in designing
and approving buildings under Building The legislation covering
Regulations can reasonably anticipate building design and
the majority of physical and management construction and the fire
fire safety issues that will affect a building safety of buildings in use are
in use.
independent of one another.
However, the legislation is intended to
reflect the risk(s) presented by the building
Another factor to take into account is that
in use. They therefore need to be dynamic,
neither element of legislation has primacy
not constrained by any assumptions or
over the other, and that there are two
previous approvals (especially where
interactions with other legislation with
buildings have been built on a speculative
different enforcement bodies for the two
basis), and take into account a range of
elements of legislation. It is therefore
physical and non-physical factors.
important to recognise that approval under
The legislation covering building design the Building Regulation process, for either
and construction, and the fire safety of new or materially altered buildings, does
buildings in use, are independent of not necessarily result in approval under the
one another. fire legislation.
To help those responsible for designing,
approving or managing the development
of new or altered buildings, (Department
of Communities and Local Government
(DCLG) has published a document: Building
Regulations and Fire Safety Procedural
Guidance (ISBN 978-1-85946-290-4). It
explains the steps involved in approving the
fire safety aspects of building work and the
interaction between building regulation
requirements and other statutory fire safety
requirements in England and Wales.
The Scottish Building Standards Agency
has published a procedural handbook
that contains similar guidance for the
legislative regimes in Scotland, while a
similar guidance document is proposed for
Northern Ireland.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 17

If the advice is followed it should help Additional Responsibilities
ensure (as far as is possible) there is no The legislation also requires that where
need for extra building work before the dangerous substances are in or on premises
building can be occupied. Employers, in certain circumstances the responsible
owners and occupiers (‘responsible person must ensure that information on
person’) will benefit as the processes emergency arrangements is made
involved will help generate the basis of available to relevant accident and
their fire safety management procedures emergency services so they can prepare
and fire risk assessments. their own response procedures and
Those individuals who, as responsible precautionary measures.
persons or competent persons, have a This is matched by a requirement of the
responsibility for managing or monitoring Management of Health and Safety at
the fire safety during the building in use Work Regulations 1999, which requires
or during alteration must establish and the employer (‘responsible person’) to
maintain good relationships with the ensure that any necessary contacts with
enforcement bodies. external services are arranged, particularly
Licensing regarding first aid, emergency medical care
and rescue work.
The legislation that covers the licensing of
premises, and the Fire Safety (Regulatory
Reform) Order 2005, and Fire (Scotland)
Act 2005 & The Fire Safety (Scotland)
Regulations 2006, and the Fire Safety
Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010, are
totally independent, standalone elements
of legislation. It is therefore important to
recognise that approval under the licensing
legislation does not result in approval for all
fire safety matters under the fire legislation.
While fire safety conditions should not be
set within the licence it is likely that the
Licensing Authority will require assurance
from the Fire and Rescue Service that
fire precautions for the premises are
satisfactory before granting a licence.
Fire Authorities will use the specific fire
legislation as their main tool, rather than
the licensing act for ensuring that the fire
precautions are satisfactory.

18 GPG Managing Fire Safety


The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) The legislation provides a wide-ranging

Order 2005 and the Fire (Scotland) definition of the ‘responsible person’
Act 2005, The Fire Safety (Scotland) and clearly states that there can be
Regulations 2006 and The Fire Safety more than one in any premises which is
Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 have shared, for example, a multi occupancy
placed the responsibility for providing and building. The legislation requires that a
maintaining a fire-safe environment for all fire-risk assessment must be completed,
relevant persons on the ‘responsible person’ that the assessment and any associated
(England & Wales), Duty Holder (Scotland) fire precautions are routinely reviewed
and the Appropriate Person (Northern and revised where necessary and that
Ireland) referred to in this guidance as the any systems, equipment and training are
‘Responsible Person’. provided and maintained by a
competent person.
The legislation also places a number of
general duties on the ‘responsible person’.
The legislation provides a The enforcement of the legislation is
wide-ranging definition of the responsibility of the Fire and Rescue
the ‘responsible person’ Service, which has powers to enter
premises and to ask for access to risk
and clearly states that
assessments and other relevant records.
there can be more than one The Fire and Rescue Service also has powers
in any premises which is to issue notices: requiring the ‘responsible
shared, for example, a person’ to notify them of any proposed
multi-occupancy building. changes to a building, or its use; notifying
the ‘responsible person’ of any deficiencies
in the fire safety provisions and requiring
the deficiencies to be corrected; and
restricting or prohibiting the use of part or
all of a building.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 19


It is essential to have a detailed and Those responsible should be able to develop,

robust Fire Safety Management Policy within where necessary, a local action plan for their
your organisation if fire safety matters are premises which takes into account the type
to be effectively addressed. This includes and complexity of the building, the people
taking preventative measures thus ensuring working within or nearby, the activities being
that fires are unlikely to occur, and that if undertaken and any specific hazards within
they do they are likely to be controlled or the building such as hazardous processes or
contained quickly, effectively and safely, chemicals.
and that, if a fire does occur, and grows, An organisation’s fire safety management
everyone in the premises is able to escape policy should be a dynamic document,
to a place of total safety easily and quickly. flexible enough to allow modification to take
In all premises this is often achieved by into account local operating modifications
maintaining and planning fire safety in and should be the subject of regular
conjunction with general health and safety. monitoring and review.

It is good practice for senior management The organisation’s fire safety management
to have overall responsibility for fire safety policy should be communicated to all
and it should be recognised that fire safety relevant persons within a building and where
operates at all levels within an organisation. a risk assessment needs to be recorded
It is essential that all staff are aware of (when 5 or more persons employed, or if the
their roles and responsibilities in fire safety, premises are licensed or an alterations notice
to ensure that they have the training and requiring it is in force) and should identify:
are aware how to prevent fires, recognise > who will hold the responsibility for fire
hazards and are fully conversant on what to safety at board level;
do in an emergency.
> who will be the ‘responsible person’ for
each of their premises (this will be the
person with overall control – usually the
> the arrangement whereby those
responsible for fire safety will, where
necessary, nominate in writing specific
people to carry out particular tasks if
there is a fire;
> the arrangements to monitor and
check that individuals responsible for
fire safety are meeting fire safety law.
A Generic Fire Safety Management Policy may
be found at Appendix 4, pages 42 to 45.

20 GPG Managing Fire Safety


First, understand the nature of the risk

to be managed. To carry out a fire risk
assessment, an organised and methodical While a fire risk assessment
look at the premises, the activities carried will share a common
out there and an assessment of the approach to many other
likelihood that a fire could start and cause risk assessments, it is worth
harm to those in and around the premises.
Therefore, the primary aim should always
noting that fire is a dynamic
be to remove hazards and where they process that can very
cannot be removed, then to reduce quickly have an effect on
them as much as possible and implement many people.
additional control measures.
The aims of the fire risk assessment are to:
> identify the fire hazards;
If the organisation employs five or more
> reduce the risk of those hazards people, or if the premises are licensed
causing harm, to as low as reasonably or an alterations notice requiring it is in
practicable; and force, then the significant findings of the
> decide what physical fire precautions fire risk assessment and those identified as
and management arrangements are especially at risk must be recorded.
necessary to ensure the safety of A fire risk assessment will help determine
relevant people in, or in the vicinity of the chances of a fire starting and the
your premises if a fire does start. dangers from fire that the premises present
for the people who use them and any
person in the immediate vicinity.
Much of the information for the fire risk
assessment will come from the knowledge
that persons in control and/or employees
and their representatives have of the
premises, as well as the knowledge of those
who have responsibility for various parts of
the building.
While a fire risk assessment will share a
common approach to many other risk
assessments, it is worth noting that fire is a
dynamic process that can very quickly have
an effect on many people.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 21

Consultation and cooperation between
occupiers is not only advisable but a
Consultation and legislative requirement in multi-occupied
co-operation between buildings.
occupiers is not only The fire risk assessment should demonstrate
advisable but a legislative that, as far as is reasonable, it has taken into
account the needs of all relevant persons,
requirement in
including disabled people.
multi-occupied buildings.
It is essential that the fire risk assessment
is maintained and reviewed on a regular
Appoint one or more competent persons
to carry out the preventive and protective
measures, identified by the risk assessment.
These persons could be appropriately
trained employees or a third party with a
good understanding of the dynamic nature
of fire growth and development.
The assessment must be undertaken in a
practical and systematic way. It must take
all the premises into account, including
outdoor locations and any rooms and areas
that are rarely used. If the premises are
small it may be possible to assess them as a
whole. In some premises, it may be helpful
to divide them into a series of assessment
areas using natural boundaries, e.g.,
production areas, lecture theatres, offices,
laboratories and stores, as well as corridors,
stairways and external routes. However,
each risk cannot be treated in isolation.
Irrespective of the number of persons
employed, or relating to the premises, if
it forms part of a building with different
occupancies, then the measures provided
by other occupiers may have a direct effect
on the adequacy of the fire safety measures
in all of the premises in the building.

22 GPG Managing Fire Safety


All staff should receive basic fire safety Training is necessary:

induction training. They should also > when staff start employment or are
attend refresher sessions at predetermined transferred into the premises;
intervals, and be told about the emergency
> when changes have been made to the
plan and shown the escape routes.
emergency plan and the preventative
The training should take account of the and protective measures;
findings of the fire risk assessment and be
> where working practices and
easily understood by all those attending. It
processes or people’s responsibilities
should include the role that those members
of staff will be expected to play if a fire
occurs. This may vary in large premises, > to take account of any changed risks
with some staff being fire marshals to the safety of staff or other relevant
or having a particular role that needs persons;
additional training. > to ensure that staff know what they
have to do to safeguard themselves
and others on the premises;
> where staff are expected to assist
disabled persons; and
> if a member of staff takes on the role
of duty manager.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 23

Training should be repeated as often as
necessary and should take place in working
All staff should receive hours. Whatever training is necessary
basic fire safety induction to support the fire safety strategy and
emergency plan, it should be verifiable, as
enforcing authorities may want to examine
records to ensure adequate training has
been given.
It is essential that detailed records are
maintained for all training provided by
obtaining signatures of all staff members
present. Remember if it hasn’t been
As a minimum all staff should receive
recorded then it didn’t happen.
training about:
> the items listed in the emergency
> the importance of fire doors and other
basic fire prevention measures;
> the appropriate use of firefighting
equipment where relevant;
> the importance of reporting to the
assembly area;
> exit routes and the operation of exit
devices, including physically walking
these routes;
> general matters such as permitted
smoking areas or restrictions on
cooking other than in designated
areas; and
> assisting disabled persons where

24 GPG Managing Fire Safety


Staff expected to undertake the role Training for this role may include:
of fire marshals (or fire wardens) would > detailed knowledge of the fire safety
require more comprehensive training. Their strategy of the premises;
role may include:
> awareness of human behaviour in fires;
> helping those on the premises to
> how to encourage others to use the
most appropriate escape route;
> checking the premises to ensure
> how to search safely and recognise
everyone has left;
areas that are unsafe to enter;
> using firefighting equipment if safe to
> the difficulties that some people,
do so;
particularly if disabled, may have in
> liaising with the fire and rescue service escaping and any special evacuation
on arrival; arrangements that have been pre-
> shutting down vital or dangerous planned;
equipment; and > additional training in the use of
> performing a supervisory/ firefighting equipment;
management role in any fire situation. > an understanding of the purpose of
any fixed firefighting equipment such
as sprinklers or gas flooding systems;
> reporting of faults, incidents and near

Managing Fire Safety GPG 25


Once the emergency plan has been

developed and training given, you must
evaluate its effectiveness. The best way to A well planned and
do this is to carry out a fire drill. This should executed fire drill will
be done at least every 6 months or as confirm understanding of
determined by the fire risk assessment, but the training and provide
more often if there is a high staff turnover.
helpful information for
A well-planned and executed fire drill will future training.
confirm understanding of the training
and provide helpful information for future
training. The ‘responsible person’ should
determine the possible objectives of the
drill e.g. to:
> identify any weaknesses in the
evacuation strategy Within each building the evacuation should
be for all occupants except those who
> test the procedure following any may need to ensure the security of the
recent alteration or changes to premises, or people who, on a risk-assessed
working practices basis, are required to remain with particular
> familiarise new members of staff with equipment or processes that cannot be
procedures closed down.
> test any necessary arrangements for Premises that consist of several buildings
disabled people on the same site should be dealt with one
building at a time over an appropriate
period unless the emergency procedure
dictates otherwise.
Where appropriate, it may be helpful to
include members of the public in the fire
drill. Ensure that all necessary health and
safety issues are addressed before doing so.

26 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Carrying Out the Drill Roll Call and Evacuation
For premises that have more than one Where possible, a roll call should be
escape route, the escape plan should be carried out as soon as possible at the
designed to evacuate all people on the designated assembly point(s), and/or
assumption that one exit or stairway is reports received from wardens designated
unavailable because of the fire. You can to ‘sweep’ the premises, and any people
simulate this by placing a designated who are ‘unaccounted for’ noted. In a real
person at a suitable point on an exit route. evacuation this information will need to be
Applying this scenario to different escape passed to the fire and rescue service upon
routes at each fire drill will encourage arrival.
individuals to use alternative escape routes Ideally a record of who is in a building
they may not normally use. should be kept, but the reality is that the
When carrying out the drill you might find ability to keep a record of who is in a
it helpful to: building will vary according to the nature
> circulate details concerning the drill and use of the premises.
and inform all staff of their duty to Once the roll call is satisfactorily
participate (‘surprise drills’ may not be completed, or satisfactory reports from
beneficial as the health and safety risks fire wardens and others with special
may outweigh the benefits) responsibilities have been received, people
> ensure that equipment can be left should be allowed to return to the building.
safely Where the evacuation has been activated
by a real emergency, then no one may
> nominate observers re-enter the premises until the Emergency
> inform the alarm receiving centre if Services have given their authority. If
the fire-warning system is monitored the fire-warning system is monitored the
(if fire and rescue is usually called from alarm receiving centre should be informed
your premises, make sure this does not that the drill has been completed. The
happen) outcomes should be recorded.
> inform visitors and members of the Note: It is not up to the fire brigade to
public, if present actually reset the alarm panel. This is the
responsibility of the local FM, security
> ask a random member of staff to set
officer, fire safety manager, fire warden,
off the alarm using the test key (this
manager etc.
will also indicate their knowledge of
the nearest call point).

Managing Fire Safety GPG 27

On-the-spot debriefs are useful to discuss
the fire drill, encouraging feedback
On-the-spot debriefs are from everybody. Later, reports from fire
useful to discuss the fire wardens and observations from people
should be collated and reviewed by the
drill, encouraging feedback
‘responsible person’. Any conclusions and
from everybody. remedial actions should be recorded and
The fire risk assessment will help ensure
that appropriate safety procedures, fire
prevention measures and fire precautions
(plans, systems and equipment) are all in
Monitoring and Debrief place and working properly.
Throughout the drill the ‘responsible It is essential that there is an effective
person’ and any nominated observers communications system between the Fire
should pay particular attention to: Wardens and the ‘Responsible Person’ for
> communication difficulties with regard effective fire safety management.
to the roll call and establishing that
everyone is accounted for
> the use of the nearest available
escape routes as opposed to common
circulation routes
> difficulties opening final exit doors
> difficulties experienced by people with
> the roles of specified people e.g. fire
> inappropriate actions, e.g. stopping to
collect personal items, attempting to
use lifts
> windows and doors not being closed
as people leave.

28 GPG Managing Fire Safety


Manchester Hospital breached fire safety rules

November 2014 Areas of concern that did not comply with the
requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire
A Manchester hospital has been ordered
Safety) Order 2005 included:
by the fire service to tackle fire safety
breaches in its operating theatres. An > Fire doors wedged open
enforcement notice has been issued by
> Storeroom doors left insecure
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Service on a local Hospital. A routine check > Combustible items stored in escape routes
discovered various safety breaches and the
> The Trust’s own fire safety policy not being
fire service order says action must be taken
to avoid prosecution.
> Failure to maintain emergency routes and
> Fire safety risk assessment not suitable and
> Damaged and poorly maintained fire doors
> Limited evidence of fire drills taking place

Managing Fire Safety GPG 29

Leicestershire landlord jailed for ignoring fire safety regulations

October 2014 were no working smoke alarms or emergency

lights, blocked fire exits, combustible obstacles
A landlord who put his tenants’ lives at risks
such as furniture in corridors, fire doors were
by ignoring fire safety regulations has been
either missing, left open or jammed and a fire
jailed for eight months.
extinguisher in the hall had not been inspected
The landlord’s two adjoining properties in the for 25 years.
Highfields area of Leicester, caught fire in the
The court was told Patel was fined £38,000
early hours of 8th May 2013.
by magistrates earlier this year following a
Firefighters had to rescue three residents from separate city council prosecution, for failing to
the smoke-logged three-storey building, where have the necessary licences to run his business
no proper fire safety measures were in place. at Evington Street and Gopsall Street.
The landlord had ignored safety warnings and After the hearing, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue
advice given a year before the blaze. Service head of community safety said the case
showed a “shocking lack of regard” for the
He pleaded guilty to seven offences under the
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
during an earlier hearing at Leicester Crown He added: “This sentence sends a very strong
Court. message to the owners and managers of similar
premises regarding their legal responsibilities,
Fire Safety breaches included no fire risk
and the likely result of ignoring them.”
assessment, no evacuation strategy and the fire
alarm wasn’t working. In addition, there

30 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Another Care Home Fined £170k for Fire Safety Breaches

September 2014 The investigation found that although the

general fire risk assessment for the home
One of the country’s biggest care home
identified smoking as a risk, further assessment
providers has today been ordered to pay
specifically in respect of the woman had not
£170,622 for contravening fire safety laws
been carried out as required by Anchor Trust’s
following a fire in which a woman died.
own policies. As a result measures to reduce the
Anchor Trust which runs Rose Court on Lower risk had not been properly considered or put
Road in Bermondsey, pleaded guilty to two into place.
offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire
During 2013/14 there were 527 fires
Safety) Order 2005 at Woolwich Crown Court.
in London’s care homes and sheltered
This case comes soon after the conviction of
accommodation, with two people dying and 34
another care home provider in Croydon, in May
people being injured.
*Source: London Fire Brigade
The lady in question, who suffered from
dementia, died following a fire in her room
at the home for elderly people on 26 March
2010. Investigators determined that the fire
was caused by her nightwear coming into
contact with a naked flame.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 31

D.M. Care Ltd, Blackpool

March 2013 Investigations both at the time of the inspection

and during interview under caution, show that
The Prosecution relates to Ambassador
fire safety at this property had been neglected
Care Home, 670-672 Lytham Road,
and had deteriorated to a seriously poor
Backpool. These premises consist of a
standard. This resulted in very serious breaches
detached property with ground and first
of the Fire Safety Order which meant that the
floors and the owner of these premises is
safety of residents and staff within the premises
D. M. Care Ltd.
had been compromised.
On the 6th January 2012, Lancashire Fire and
As a result of the investigations, Fire Officers
Rescue Service attended an incident which
spent considerable time inspecting the
consisted of a fire on the ground floor outside
premises, preparing statements and taking
bedroom 10. The incident resulted in several
photographs in relation to the case brought
people being evacuated from the building
against the Defendant.
including staff and residents.
During the course of the investigation
photographs were taken as evidence of On the 19th March 2013 Lancashire Fire and
breaches of Fire Safety Legislation and they Rescue Service successfully prosecuted D.M.
show the following:- Care Limited, the owner of the Ambassador
Care Home in Blackpool, for seven breaches of
> Blocked exit routes.
the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
> Combustibles on the main staircase. The case was heard at Fleetwood Magistrates
Court using a comprehensive evidence file
> Combustible materials on top of cupboards
prepared by Fire Safety Enforcement staff from
in a protected corridor.
Western Area.
> Fire doors, including the kitchen door,
The defendant pleaded guilty to seven
wedged open at the time of the fire.
offences listed below and was fined the
> Combustible materials obstructing fire maximum of £5,000 per offence and ordered
extinguishers. to pay prosecution costs of £5,375, a total of
> Cupboard hooks holding open fire doors. £40,375, the highest amount seen imposed in
cases such as this in Lancashire.
> Linen stored to ceiling height adjacent to
light fitting.
> Linen on shelving on the means of escape.
> Missing smoke detector.
> Electrical leads in Santa’s Grotto located on
escape route.
> Santa’s Grotto on main staircase.

32 GPG Managing Fire Safety

 ottingham Fast Food Retailer

November 2013 The offences in full, on or before 8th October

2012, were as follows: -
Business owners have been advised by
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service 1. Failure to create a suitable and sufficient Fire
to pay greater attention to fire safety Risk Assessment - fine of £1,334
legislation, following the prosecution
2. Failure to install a fire detection and warning
of a Nottingham fast food retailer at
system - fine of £2,667
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court today
(Monday 4th November). 3. Failure to keep emergency escape routes free
from obstruction - fine of £1,667
LFF Limited faced a total financial penalty of
£14,979.50, including a victim surcharge 4. Failure to ensure that emergency escape
and full costs, after pleading guilty to six fire routes led to a place of safety - fine of
safety offences under the Regulatory Reform £1,334
(Fire Safety) Order 2005. Fines imposed on LFF
5. Failure to ensure that emergency escape
Limited included £2,667 for failing to have
routes were sufficiently protected from
installed a fire detection and warning system
smoke or fire - fine of £2,000
and £2,000 for failing to ensure that escape
routes from upper floors were adequately 6. Failure to install appropriate emergency
protected from smoke and fire. All of the lighting on escape routes - fine of £1,667
sentences took account of the one third Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is
discount to which the company was entitled reminding all owners and occupiers of buildings
following early guilty pleas. of their legal responsibility to protect their
The magistrates emphasised that safety customers and staff against the risk of fire. As
must always take priority over financial well as warning them that, where necessary,
considerations. action will be taken against anyone found to be
in breach of fire safety regulations.
Fire protection officers from Nottinghamshire
Fire and Rescue Service visited the Maryland
Chicken outlet, Lower Parliament Street,
Nottingham in October 2012 and found
that the fire precautions that should have
been provided in the event of a fire were
inadequate. This presented a serious risk to the
lives of staff at the premises. Enforcement and
Prohibition Notices were issued, which limited
the use of the premises and required fire safety

Managing Fire Safety GPG 33


Legislative Road Map

Building stage Construction

Legislation England and Wales:

Building Regulations 2010

Enforcing body > Building Control Officers in the Local Authority (LA).
> Approved Inspector (AI) listed by the Construction Industry Council.
(The Fire & Rescue Authority must be consulted by LA or AI for access or
premises to which the order applies).

Guidance Documents, BS 5588-5:2004 Fire Precautions in Design

British Standards BS 9999 – 2008 Code of Practice for fire safety in the design, management and
use of buildings.

Building stage Construction

Legislation Scotland:
Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and Building (Miscellaneous Amendments)
(Scotland) Regulations 2013 – Fire Safety Design Summaries (FSDS) must now
be provided with completion certificates relating to the construction of, or
conversion to, new non–domestic buildings, including extensions to existing

Enforcing body > Local Authority Verifiers

> Certifiers
> For list see

Guidance Documents, Procedural Handbook 3rd Edition Version 1.4 Non-Domestic Handbook 2015
British Standards

Building stage Construction

Legislation Northern Ireland:

Building (Scotland) Regulations
The Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014.

Enforcing body > Local Authority

Guidance Documents, Technical Booklets

British Standards

34 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Legislative Road Map

Building stage Building in use

Legislation England and Wales:

Regulatory Reform
(Fire Safety) Order 2005

Enforcing body > Fire & Rescue Authority

Guidance Documents, Fire safety risk assessment guides

British Standards These may be downloaded from the following website:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have separate guidance about carrying
out risk assessments if you work in construction.
You can download the following guides on fire safety risk assessments in:
> offices and shops
> factories and warehouses
> sleeping accommodation
> residential care premises
> educational premises
> small and medium places of assembly (holding 300 people or less)
> large places of assembly (holding more than 300 people)
> theatres, cinemas and similar premises
> open air events and venues
> healthcare premises
> animal premises and stables
> transport premises and facilities
BSI PAS7:2013 Fire Risk Management System
BS 9999 Code of practice for design, management and use.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 35

Legislative Road Map

Building stage Building in use

Legislation Scotland:
Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and
The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006

Enforcing body > Fire & Rescue Authority

Guidance Documents, A series of sector specific guides has been produced providing practical fire
British Standards safety guidance for those with responsibilities under Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland)
Act 2005, as amended, and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
These guides may be downloaded from the following website:
> Care Homes
> Offices, Shops & Similar Premises
> Factories & Storage Premises
> Educational & Day Care for Children Premises
> Small Bed & Breakfast & Self-Catering Premises
> Small Premises Providing Sleeping Accommodation
> Medium & Large Premises Providing Sleeping Accommodation
> Transport Premises
> Healthcare Premises

36 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Legislative Road Map

Building stage Building in use

Legislation Northern Ireland:

Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010

Enforcing body > Fire & Rescue Authority

Guidance Documents, The communities and local government website provides fire safety guidance
British Standards for the following premises which may be downloaded from the website:
> Offices and Shops
> Sleeping Accommodation
> Residential Care Premises
> Educational Premises
> Small & Medium places of assembly
> Large Places of assembly
> Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
> Factories and Warehouses
> Open air events & Venues
> Healthcare Premises
> Transport Premises & Facilities
> Animal premises and stables
> Means of escape for Disabled People (Supplementary Guide.)
> Reducing the number of false alarms from detection & alarm systems.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 37


England and Wales Government These stand alone documents provide

(Department of) Communities and Local advice and are targeted to the use of
Government Building Regulations and Fire premises concerned, on how to avoid
Safety Procedural Guidance. fires and how to ensure people’s safety
This provides guidance on the interaction if a fire does start
between the Building Control Process (in
England & Wales) and the application of the firesafety/firesafetylaw
Fire Safety Order. Scotland Government
Approved Document B – Volume 2. The Scottish Building Standards Agency
Buildings Other Than Dwelling Houses (
This provides practical guidance on the Environment/Building/Building-
technical application of Part B to the standards/publications/publeg)
Building Regulations (England & Wales). has published a procedural handbook, which provides guidance on the interaction
Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guidance. between the Building Control Process (in
Scotland) and the application of the Fire
These are standalone guidance (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety
documents for: (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
> Offices and Shops The website also gives access to The
> Factories and Warehouses Scottish Building Standards Technical
Handbook (section 2), which provides
> Sleeping Accommodation
guidance on achieving the standards set in
> Residential Care Premises the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
> Educational Premises The Scotland Government website
> Small and Medium Places of Assembly (
provides a guidance booklet which gives an
> Large Places of Assembly overview of the fire safety regime. It also
> Theatres, Cinemas and Similar provides guidance on:
Premises > Fire Safety Measures
> Open Air Events and Venues > Fire Safety Risk Assessment
> Healthcare Premises > Evacuation of Disabled Persons.
> Transport Premises and Facilities The website also provides standalone
> Means of Escape for Disabled Persons guidance documents for:
> LACORS (Local Authorities > Offices, Shops and similar premises
Coordinators of Regulatory Services) > Factories and Storage Premises
Housing-Fire safety
> Small Premises Providing Sleeping
38 GPG Managing Fire Safety
> Medium and Large Premises Providing recommendations and guidance on the
Sleeping Accommodation building measures that should, in the event
> Care Homes of fire, safeguard the lives of people using
the buildings concerned (NB: see BS:9999
> Educational and Day Care for Children below).
BS:9999 Code of Practice for Fire Safety
> Places of Entertainment and Assembly in the Design, Management and Use
> Healthcare Premises of Buildings, BS:9999 was launched in
November 2008, with the BS:5588 series,
> Transport Premises
apart from part 1 being withdrawn six
Northern Ireland Government months from the date of the launch.

Information on the Building (Amendment) While intended primarily for designers,

Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 can be fire engineers and fire safety managers, it
found at is expected that BS:9999 will also be of
publications/energy-performance- use by:
buildings-certificates-and-inspections- > specifiers, contractors, site supervisors
amendment-regulations-2 and site safety officers;
Guidance documents on how to comply > owners, tenants, occupants, facility
with the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern managers, safety officers and security
Ireland) Order 2006 and the Fire Safety staff; and
Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 has
> regulators and enforcers, including
been issued by the Department of Health,
building control bodies, fire
Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS)
authorities, health and safety
to support the new arrangements and
inspectors, environmental health
is available at
officers, and environmental agencies.
There are twelve guides in total covering a
full range of buildings and environments. The Fire Protection Association
In addition there are two very useful FPA Design Guide: the Fire Protection
publications - ‘Fire Safety Law – The of Buildings.
evacuation of disabled people from The Design Guide informs architects
buildings’ and ‘Fire safety law – are you and designers about the business risk
aware of your responsibilities’. management issues which relate to the fire
protection of buildings.
British Standards Institute
BS:5588 series: Code of Practice for Fire Publications
Precautions in the Design, Construction
and Use of Buildings. This series provides

Managing Fire Safety GPG 39


Alterations Notice c) an increase in the quantities of

The enforcing authority may serve an dangerous substances which are
‘alterations notice’ on the ‘responsible present in or on the premises; or
person’ if the authority is of the opinion d)
a change to the use of the premises.
that the premises:
Enforcement Notice
constitutes a serious risk to relevant
persons (whether due to the features If the enforcing authority is of the opinion
of the premises, their use, any hazard that the ‘responsible person’ has failed to
present, or any other circumstances); comply with any provision of the legislation
or they may serve an ‘enforcement notice’ on
the ‘responsible person’.
b) may constitute such a risk if a change
is made to them or the use to which The enforcement notice will:
they are put. a) specify the provisions that have not
Where an alterations notice has been been complied with; and
served the ‘responsible person’ must, b) require the ‘responsible person’ to
before making any of the changes, notify take steps to remedy the failure within
the enforcing authority of the proposed a specified period.
changes and send the enforcing authority
The enforcement notice may include
the following:
directions for measures which the enforcing
I. a copy of the risk assessment; and authority consider necessary to remedy
II. a summary of the changes he or she the failure, and may afford the ‘responsible
proposes to make to the existing person’ a choice of ways to remedy the
general fire precautions. contravention.
An alterations notice must specify the Prohibition Notice
matters that, in the opinion of the
enforcing authority, constitute a risk to If the enforcing authority believes that use
relevant persons, or may constitute such a of premises involves or will involve a risk to
risk if a change is made to the premises or persons so serious that use of the premises
the use to which they are put. The changes ought to be prohibited or restricted, the
covered are: authority may serve on the ‘responsible
person’ (occupier in Scotland) a ‘prohibition
a change to the premises; notice’.
b) a change to the services, fittings or
equipment in or on the premises;

40 GPG Managing Fire Safety

A prohibition notice will:
a) specify the matters that in the view of
the enforcing authority give, or may
give rise to the serious risk; and
b) direct that the use to which the
prohibition notice relates is prohibited
or restricted until the specified matters
have been remedied.
A prohibition notice may include directions
as to the measures that will have to be
taken to remove the serious risk. They may
afford the ‘responsible person’ (occupier
in Scotland) a choice of ways to remove
the serious risk. A prohibition notice may
take effect immediately, or at the end of a
period specified in the notice.

Managing Fire Safety GPG 41


This is a generic fire safety management whose job is of utmost importance in an

policy only. It should be used as a guide and emergency situation.
adjusted to suit your building/premises to It is important that all staff are included in
ensure it encompasses the requirements of the training such as the following groups:
your individual organisation’s compliance
to ensure compliance with fire safety 1.
Fire Marshals
legislation. 2.
Deputy Fire Marshals

Policy Statement 3. Managers

This should be a maximum one page 4.

All employees
statement by the person responsible for fire 5. New starters at induction
safety within your organisation. It should
This section should also state the frequency
include high level details of how this will
of refresher training.
be delegated through the organisational
management structure. Fire Risk Assessment
Fire Safety roles & responsibilities In this section it should detail who will
carry out the fire risk assessment. If it is the
As is the case for general health and safety,
‘responsible person’ then they must ensure
this section should show who has overall
that they have the necessary competency
responsibility for fire safety management.
but if not then they should arrange for fire
Then the roles and responsibilities for
risk assessments to be conducted on all
all staff, to include all levels within the
properties occupied by it, including both
owned and leased sites.
State who the ‘responsible person’ is here
Fire risk assessments will be reviewed
and may be provide a checklist of their
annually unless significant changes are
duties. It may be that the ‘responsible
made to processes and the significant
person’ is assisted by other managers in
findings discussed between the Fire
their departments, depending on the size
Marshal(s) and the ‘responsible person’.
of the organisation but it is important to
show who is responsible for fire safety at Emergency Information
all levels of the organisation and what their
duties are in any given scenario. In this section it is good practice to
provide all sites and departments with
Training a summary sheet detailing emergency
contact information. This will contain as a
Training is very important and here it
should state who will provide the training
which should consist of general fire safety > Name, position and telephone
awareness and precautions together with numbers of all Fire Marshals
more in depth training for fire marshals

42 GPG Managing Fire Safety

> Name, position and telephone routine fire safety checks, detection
numbers of First Aiders system maintenance, emergency lighting,
> Telephone number for the weekly fire alarm testing, fire extinguishers
‘responsible person’ and training.

> Contact details for local police and Records for the last three years should be held
fire department as a minimum.

Also include details of who has the Details of who has responsibility for
responsibility to contact the fire brigade, maintaining records should also form part of
(unless the fire detection system is on an this section.
auto-dialler system), and how to dial out Appointment of Fire Marshals and Fire
from the building e.g. 9-999. Wardens
Security issues All sites and departments, depending on the
In this section it is a good idea to consider size of the organisation must appoint Fire
whether the organisation is a low or high Marshals to oversee the implementation of
risk in terms of being a target of arson or the fire safety strategies for their respective
bomb threats. In the event that threats sites and departments, with the tasks involved
are made then they must be reported in this being determined by the fire safety
immediately to the ‘responsible person’ provisions
who will liaise with senior management, in place.
security department and in some cases the Sufficient deputy Fire Marshals should be
local police to determine the appropriate appointed to undertake the role of Fire
action to be taken. Marshal when the regular Marshal is absent.
The prevention of arson to the exterior of High visibility bibs and clipboards should
the premises should always be considered, be provided for use in a drill or emergency
for example waste packaging left in bins situation.
adjacent to the building following deliveries
of stock or equipment, or from general Fire Extinguishers
rubbish resulting from refurbishment The ‘responsible person’ should appoint one or
projects left in skips. more competent companies to undertake the
annual fire extinguisher servicing. The records
Record Keeping for this should be held centrally in the fire
Records should be maintained for each site. safety log book or other agreed location.
It is good practice to hold all fire safety The Fire Marshals at the sites/departments
management records in one central fire should assume a monitoring role to ensure
safety logbook for ease of inspection by that the servicing is taking place as required,
any visiting auditor or the local fire brigade. then to report any defects or extinguishers
Suggested records to be held here include

Managing Fire Safety GPG 43

out of place, as identified during their weekly/ Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and the
monthly inspections to the ‘responsible appropriate guidance followed.
person’. In addition COSHH assessments must be
Fire extinguishers should be provided based available and procedures for the Storage,
on the types of hazards present in each area Transportation, Use, Processing and
as identified in the risk assessment. Handling must be followed.
Fire extinguishers should not be used by staff Wherever flammable substances are stored,
unless they have received the appropriate a specific storage facility will be provided.
training in their selection All flammable chemicals stores are signed
and use. as such and spill containment and clean-up
kits are available at each location.
Fire Safety Management Procedures
Volumes should be kept to a minimum
Fire Safety Management Procedures contain in accordance with the MSDS or COSHH
the instructions for the routine fire inspections assessment.
along with the procedures to follow for fire
drills, emergency evacuations and security The presence and use of hazardous or
alerts. flammable substances must be taken into
account during the fire risk assessment.
These procedures should be viewed as a
living document which should be reviewed Hot Work
on a regular basis and modified as issues are If any hot work is to take place then a
identified, processes change or as the fire permit to work must be in place to allow
risk assessment dictates. As a minimum they this to proceed safely. Hot work is defined
should be reviewed following feedback and as any burning, welding, brazing, soldering,
observations as a result of fire drills. grinding or cutting work producing sparks,
It is good practice for an effective a common example of which is plumbing.
communication system to exist between If smoke or optical fire detection heads are
the Fire Marshals, via the ‘responsible isolated within the fire detection system to
person’, so issues which arise on one site are allow hot works to proceed as part of a
communicated and actions implemented on Permit to Work, then it is essential that
all others. these are reinstated following completion
Hazardous substances (Control of Substances of the hot works.
Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 - As part of the hot work permit, security
COSHH) may be called to carry out additional fire
If hazardous substances are used on site as watch during and after the hot works to
part of an essential process then they must ensure the safety of staff and prevention of
be accompanied by their corresponding any loss.
Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet or Material

44 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Electrical systems The ‘responsible person’ (unless another
The systematic testing of electrical systems individual is appointed) will ensure that
and portable appliances forms an essential arrangements are made for the above tests to
part of an organisations fire prevention take place.
plan, as this is designed to identify faults The organisation should make a policy
and any unsafe practices being adopted, decision as to whether to allow employees
to ensure these are remedied in an to provide and use their own electrical
appropriate manner to reduce the potential equipment such as radios or fan heaters.
ignition sources of fire. However, if such items are allowed in the
workplace, then these must be included in the
Fixed wiring portable appliance testing schedule.
Fixed wiring systems will be subject All new portable items introduced into sites
to routine examination and testing by must be reported to the ‘responsible person’
competent persons in accordance with the (or other designated person) for inclusion in
suite of test methods specified in British the appropriate PAT testing asset list.
Standard 7671:2008, which is more
commonly referred to as the IEE Wiring
The frequency of testing is dependent on
the type of use and resulting risk but for
example a Factory environment would be
every 3 years and at a minimum of every
five years in an office environment.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Portable appliances should be subject
to routine inspection and testing, in
accordance with the guidance set out by
the IEE’s publication “Code of Practice for
In-Service Inspection and Testing”.
Where a permanent energy supply is
required all reasonable steps will be made
to modify the mains circuit to provide a
permanent outlet and avoid long-term use
of portable extension leads or multi-socket

Managing Fire Safety GPG 45


A regular fire safety check of the premises should be completed by the fire safety manager,
fire warden, or somebody who has received additional training.
Complete this checklist at least monthly or in line with your Fire Safety Management Policy
and maintain a record.

Fire Safety Checklist

Premises Name: Date:

Checked by: (Name) Signature:
Cleanliness and Tidiness 3
> Staff encouraged to tidy their personal work places?
> Are the premises kept clear of combustible process waste and refuse?
> Are metal receptacles with closely fitting lids available for waste such as floor sweepings?
> Are separate clearly labelled containers provided for waste and special hazards – flammable
liquids, paint rags, oily rags?
> Are waste containers removed from the building at the end of each working day or more
frequently if necessary?
> Is waste put in a safe place while awaiting disposal – not accessible to the public?
> Is the burning of waste on site prohibited?
> Are cupboards, lift shafts, spaces under benches, gratings, conveyor belts and similar places kept
free from dust and rubbish?
> Are pipes, beams, trusses, ledges, ducting and electric fittings regularly cleaned?
> Are areas in and around the building kept free from accumulated packaging materials and pallets?
> Are metal lockers provided for employees clothing?

Storage 3
> Are fire doors, exits, fire equipment and fire notices kept unobstructed?
> Are storage areas accessible to fire fighters?
> Are stack sizes kept as small as is practicable in the circumstances?
> Are there clear spaces around stacks of stored materials and adequate gangways between
> Are stacks stable and not liable to collapse easily?
> Are stocks of material arranged so that sprinkler heads and fire detectors are not impeded and
are the required clearances beneath this equipment maintained?
> Is storage kept in its place – excessive quantities in process areas avoided?
> Is access to storage areas restricted to those who really need to be there?
> Are stocks kept well clear of light fixtures and hot service pipes?
> Are storage areas inspected regularly and at the end of the working day?

46 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Fire Safety Checklist (continued)

LPG Cylinders 3
> Are liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders stored safely, preferably in a fenced compound
outdoors at least 2m away from any boundary fences?
> Is the store used only for cylinder storage?
> Are empty cylinders treated in the same manner, but kept separate and labelled empty?
> Are permanent warning notices prominently displayed prohibiting smoking and naked lights?
> Are cylinders stored with their valves uppermost?
Hot Works 3
> Are Hot Works controlled by a Permit to Work system?
> Are operatives engaged to carry out Hot Works competent?
> Are combustible materials and flammable liquids cleared from the area of the hot works and
access restricted?
> Are Hot Works subjected to a fire watch of at least 1 hour following completion?

Maintenance of Buildings 3
> Is every point of entry to the site and building secure against intruders?
> After close down of operations are all doors, windows and gates checked and secure?
> Is the building regularly inspected for damage to windows, walls and roof?
> Are the grounds surrounding the premises kept free of combustible vegetation by regular grass
cutting and scrub clearance?
> Are all outside contractors supervised while on the premises and their work authorised by
permit to work and hot work permit schemes?
Flammable Liquids 3
> Are all stocks of flammable liquids kept in purpose-built flammable liquid stores?
> Is the flammable liquid store kept uncongested and tidy?
> Are flammable liquids carried in specially designed safety containers and not in open cans and
buckets etc. ?
> Are quantities of flammable liquids in use kept to a minimum and when not required returned to
safe storage?
> Are flammable liquids kept away from possible sources of ignition?
> Are suitable spark reducing tools provided for use in places where there may be flammable vapours?

Machinery 3
> Does all machinery and equipment receive regular scheduled maintenance?
> Is lubrication adequate?
> Are motors and all moving parts of machinery kept clean to prevent overheating?
> Is machinery located so as to prevent congestion among machines and materials?
> Are drip trays used where necessary and emptied regularly?
> Are oil leaks and drips absorbed with mineral absorbents, not sawdust?
> Is there adequate provision of cleaning materials – wipes, cloths and so on?
> Are vents on motors and other equipment kept free of blockages to prevent overheating?

Managing Fire Safety GPG 47

Fire Safety Checklist (continued)

Space Heating and Lighting 3

> Are there restrictions on using unauthorised heaters?
> Are combustible materials at a safe distance from appliances and flues?
> Is care taken that no materials are left on heaters?
> Are portable heaters securely guarded and placed where they cannot be knocked over or ignite
> Are portable heaters subjected to regular visual inspection and PAT tested?
> Are goods kept clear of lighting equipment?

Smoking 3
> Is smoking prohibited in all but designated smoking areas?
> Are the non-smoking regulations strictly enforced?
> Where smoking is permitted is there an abundant supply of non-combustible receptacles for
cigarette ends as distinct from containers for waste?
> Are these receptacles emptied at least once a day?

Damage Control 3
> Where it is possible are goods stored clear of the floor?
> Are drains provided and are they kept clear of blockages by routine inspection and cleaning?
> Are duplicate copies of important records kept in another building?
> Have contingency plans been drawn up to enable production to recommence with the
minimum of delay in the event of a fire occurring?

Fire Protection Equipment 3

> Are hydrants, fire extinguishers, fire alarms and sprinkler systems regularly maintained by
qualified people?
> Are fire doors kept closed?
> Are routine checks made to ensure equipment has not been obscured, moved or damaged?
> Are notices informing staff what to do in the event of fire prominently displayed?
> Is the fire alarm tested weekly?

Staff Training 3
> Are procedures included in the induction for new staff and are they shown the fire escape
routes on their first day at work?
> Have fire wardens been appointed and trained in their duties?
> Have staff received training in the previous 6 months?

NOTE: If the answer to any of the above is NO then appropriate action must be taken.

This is not an exhaustive list, please add anything specific for your area/operation,
for example, ‘grease extracts/ductwork in catering facilities’.

48 GPG Managing Fire Safety

Managing Fire Safety GPG 49
About BIFM
The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is
the professional body for facilities management (FM).
Founded in 1993, we promote excellence in facilities
management for the benefit of practitioners, the
economy and society. Supporting and representing
over 16,000 members around the world, both
individual FM professionals and organisations, and
thousands more through qualifications and training.
We promote and embed professional standards in
facilities management. Committed to advancing the
facilities management profession we provide a suite
of membership, qualifications,training and networking
services designed to support facilities management
practitioners in performing to the best of their ability.

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