​​The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 affects all non-domestic premises. The Fire Safety Order (a shortened form of the above title) places greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises, including the voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes. It firmly places the responsibility for all fire safety matters with not only the employer, but also the owner of a building (who may not be the employer) and other persons who are responsible for the building.


The Fire Safety Order applies in England and Wales. It covers 'general fire precautions' and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect people in case of fire in and around most premises. The Order requires fire precautions to be put in place 'where necessary' and to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances of the case.


The duty for complying with the Fire Safety Order rests with the 'responsible person'. If you are the responsible person you will have to carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as disabled people and those with special needs, and must include consideration of any dangerous substances likely to be on the premises.


Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain. For more specific guidance, the Department for Communities and Local Government currently produces guides on business-related risk assessment. The guides can be viewed on the Department of Communities and Local Government websites: https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-safety-advice-documents