NICOLL SHAND Ltd.
Information Note on U.K. Fire Legislation Changes Since 2006
In October 2006 the previous fire safety regulations changed from the prescriptive approach, under the Fire Precautions Act and many other Acts and regulations, to a risk based system under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, and associated regulations
In Northern Ireland the old regime still stands, but once parliamentary time is made available the intent is to mirror the rest of the U.K.
What does this mean for the owner, tenant and employer?
In Scotland, England and Wales the new laws place responsibilities on owners/tenants/employers etc. Although the principals in law are the same, the legislation is different and different terms are used e.g. Dutyholder (Scotland) Responsible Person (England & Wales).Prior to the change, it was possible to contact the local Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) to discover if your premises required a fire certificate. Fire Certificates were swept away by the new legislation and responsibility for fire safety measures was moved firmly to those who can directly affect the day to day running of buildings. The FRS now no longer routinely inspect premises, they audit the Fire Risk Assessment.
It is an offence for a Duty Holder/Responsible Person, in relevant premises, not to have carried out a competent Fire Risk Assessment. This fire risk assessment should be recorded if 5 or more persons are employed. Furthermore, where a duty holder requires a licence to operate (pubs, clubs, care premises etc.) then the Fire Risk Assessment must be recorded, even where they employ less than 5 persons.
FRS can no longer give specific advice on the measures which would need to be taken in order to ensure compliance.
The following bullet points outline, in general terms, the main areas of change. For the exact detail for your area use the links at the end of this section. They will take you to the relevant Act/Orders and Guidance
So what Changed in October 2006?
- Which premises are covered
- Who is responsible
- What they are responsible for
- Licensing arrangements - Fire Service fully responsible for enforcement for issues
- Enforcement procedures - Audit of risk assessments, not inspections
- Offences - Criminal not Civil proceedings
What Types of Property are now Included?
It is probably easier to list the exclusions.
- Domestic premises (although if the premises are certified e.g. as a house in multiple occupation, they do come under the new Act). Ships during normal ship-board activities. Mines and offshore installations. Borehole sites. Agricultural or forestry land away from buildings. It is interesting to note that although Domestic premises are excluded, if there are any shared areas e.g. common staircase in blocks of flats or plant , then these areas would likely require a Fire Risk Assessment. In addition the Act(s) can still apply to Domestic premises if a serious fire safety issue is identified under the Housing Acts which would require a Prohibition Order to be issued.
Clearly almost every commercial premises is now covered.
Who are Dutyholders/Responsible persons under the Act/RR(FS)O?
- Owners, employers, tenants and contractors with obligations for maintenance, repair or safety, and other persons who may have an element of control of premises.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have any level of control, in a premises or in a part of a premises, then you are likely to be the duty holder/responsible person.
Note: There can often be more than one dutyholder in a building
What Obligations are placed on the Dutyholders?
- Assess the risk from fire to the safety of persons (Carry out a fire risk assessment)
- Take fire safety measures
- Review the fire risk assessment
How can Nicoll Shand Ltd, Fire Safety Specialists, Assist?
We have worked with company owners and building managers large and small to carry out fire risk assessments to ensure premises comply with the Fire (Scotland) Act, Part 3 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. We also assess the competence of existing fire risk assessments on behalf of potential buyers to avoid nasty surprises after the purchase is completed.
At Nicoll Shand our consultants are specialists in their field. We are all Graduates of the Institution of Fire Engineers. We are primarily a fire safety firm and our consultants have both fire service specialist skills and have worked in the private sector. We are experienced, trained and qualifie
Why Choose Us?
We are a fire safety specialist limited company that was formed because our founders were concerned that a number of general health and safety consultants had adopted a “jack of all trades” approach to specialist work
We have the qualifications, skills and experience. We have worked with, and in, the enforcement authorities and the private sector. We understand what the enforcers and insurers expect and we know how to allow the private sector to achieve this without unduly impacting on their workloads and vision
We understand the time pressures on owners/managers and we act quickly to turn around reports within agreed timescales, at reasonable cost.
Kenneth McKim formed the company after 30 years in the Fire and Rescue Service, followed by a spell in the private sector working for a major health and safety consultancy. As Head of Fire Safety he was also Chair of the Chief Fire Officers Association (Scotland) Fire Prevention stream and the Scottish representative at the National (UK) Fire Safety Committee. His knowledge and experience earned him a secondment to the Scottish Government Fire Advisory Unit and he was an active consultee in the development of the new fire safety legislation. He is a graduate of the Institution of Fire Engineers as well as having both undergraduate and post graduate degrees.
Contact Kenny direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Chisholm joined the company in 2009 after working for 3 years as Fire Safety Lead with a leading health and safety consultancy. He too had over 30 years experience in the Fire Service and his undergraduate degree is sector specific. Brian is also a Graduate of the Institution of Fire Engineers. During his fire service career he was the Scottish lead in developing the fire services audit procedure prior to the introduction of the 2006 legislation. His ground breaking work, done in conjunction with colleagues in England and Wales, is now the basis of the audit model used by enforcers across Great Britain.
Contact Brian direct at: email@example.com
What Services do we Supply?
Fire Risk Assessments
To comply with Fire (Scotland) Act, Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (England & Wales) and Workplace Regulations (N.I.)
Fire Safety Training
We have been there and done that! Our trainers have fought fires and dealt with the consequences. We have real experience to back the qualifications. From basic extinguisher/fire warden training to senior management strategic fire risk management seminars
Fire Safety Management Systems Audits
We have been the lead in facilitating fire safety management systems Audits for some of the UK’s biggest institutions. But we are also able to quickly assess organisations which are small and have few staff
For organisations with complex fire safety systems we can help adjust the original strategy to make it work better for you, while making sure it is still appropriate for the purpose it was originally designed for
Fire Safety Competent Person Services
You may not feel that you have the in-house skills and time to ensure compliance with fire safety law. We can take on this role on a regular basis to assess your buildings/staff and systems to make sure you are kept informed of the level of risk you have and any relevant changes to legislation
Health & Safety Management Systems Audits (HSG 65/OHSAS 18001)
Our consultants have wider knowledge in the field of Health and Safety and we can offer a bespoke service to review your existing systems, carry out on site interviews and grade the effectiveness of your management systems
Emergency Preparedness Exercises and Procedures
From simple evacuation drills to large scale emergency planning, we have the skills to meet your need.