What is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?

In essence, it is legislation that compels a responsible person who has some level of control in non-domestic premises to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape in the event of fire.

You must understand that the responsible person has a duty of care for not only any individual lawfully on the premises, but also those in immediate vicinity of the premises and at risk from fire on the premises.

Articles 8-22 of the Order make clear what your fire safety duties are, examples being Risk Assessment (Article 9), Fire Safety Arrangements (11), Emergency Routes and Exits (14), Provision of Information to Employees (19).

I have assisted and advised organisations in terms of their overall duties and can conduct a gap analysis for most in office-based environments in the retail/financial and transport sectors. Such a checklist, however, would be insufficient for designated COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) sites.

It could be that your duties have been overlooked or sidelined by COVID-19 matters. It may be that new processes and procedures within your four walls have significantly changed the working dynamics and introduced new fire hazards. Are your fire extinguishers suitable/sufficient and inspected annually? When was your last Fixed Wire Test? A defence of ‘i just didn’t have time’ is no defence at all.

If I can be of assistance, let me know.