The Regulatory Reform Order

The Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) is the primary legislation under which general fire precautions are now imposed on non-domestic premises. The emphasis of this legislation is to place responsibility on the 'responsible person' (usually the owner/occupier).

The Articles define the 'responsible person' and that the assessment must be 'suitable and sufficient' in order to ensure the safety of the 'relevant persons'.

The approach is now to adopt a risk assessment methodology. A systematic analysis must be undertaken which recognises the fire hazards, fire risks and introduces control measures, making up the Fire Risk Assessment.

Creating a Fire Risk Assessment

The Department of Communities and Local Government Guides on the Fire Safety Order suggest that there should be five steps in a fire risk assessment:

  1. Identify fire hazards
  2. Identify people at risk
  3. Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk
  4. Record, plan, inform, instruct and train
  5. Keep the assessment under review and revise as necessary

My approach breaks the steps down into more detail to provide the following nine steps that are recommended for any fire risk assessment:

  1. Obtain information on the building, the processes carried out in the building and the people present, or likely to be present, in the building;
  2. Identify the fire hazards and means for their elimination or control;
  3. Assess the likelihood of fire, at least in subjective terms;
  4. Determine the fire protection measures in the building;
  5. Obtain relevant information about fire safety management;
  6. Make an assessment of the likely consequences to people in the event of fire, at least in subjective terms;
  7. Make an assessment of the fire risk;
  8. Formulate and document an action plan, with prioritisation if appropriate;
  9. Define the date by which the fire risk assessment should be reviewed.

Assessments should be recorded and reviewed to ensure that they are appropriately detailed and rigorous.