Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
Major change was made to fire legislation in England and Wales in 2006 by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the ‘Fire Safety Order’). The Fire Safety Order is the principle legislation for general fire safety and reforms the law relating to fire safety in non-domestic premises used or operated by employers, the self-employed and the voluntary sector. (Exceptions would be offshore installations, means of transport, mines and boreholes. There are special consideration for these areas and separate regimes for safety which continue). Equivalent legislative changes were introduced in Scotland by means of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (SI2005 No.1541)
The regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is a ‘deregulatory measure’, which has consolidated much (over 100 pieces) of English and Welsh legislation that included fire safety requirements. The intention of the order is to encourage fire prevention – prevention being better than cure – whilst retaining fire detection and alarm requirements. Under the order, fire certificates are abolished and the ‘responsible person’ for each premises must carry out an assessment of the risk of fire and take action as necessary to reduce the risks of fire and also assess the fire detection and alarm provisions.

The Fire Safety Order required:
General fire precautions to be taken, article 8. General fire precautions are defined in article 4.
Risk assessment, article 9
Provision of fire detection and fire-fighting equipment, article 13.

Duty to take general fire precautions
Article 8 states:
8. Duty to take general fire precautions
(I) The responsible person must:
a. take such general fire precautions as will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of any of his employees; and
b. in relation to relevant persons who are not his employees, take such general...