The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005

What are the main rules under the order?

You must:

Who is responsible for meeting the order?

Under the order, anyone who has control of premises or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be a €'responsible person'€™. For example, it could be: 

the employer for those parts of premises staff may go to.
the managing agent or owner for shared parts of premises or shared fire safety equipment such as fire-warning systems or sprinklers.
the occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations if they have any control. 
any other person who has some control over a part of the premises.

Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be times when a number of people have some responsibility.

How do I meet the order?

If you are the Responsible Person, you must make sure you carry out a fire-risk assessment although you can pass this task to some other competent person. However, you will still be responsible, in law, for meeting the order.

The responsible person, either on their own or with any other responsible person, must as far as is reasonably practical make sure that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape safely if there is a fire.

This is different from previous legislation in that you must consider everyone who might be on your premises, whether they are employees,visitors or members of the public, for example, at an open-air entertainment venue. You should pay particular attention to people who may have a disability or anyone who may need special help.

The order says that you must manage any fire-risk in your premises. Fire authorities no longer issue fire certificates and those previously in force will have no legal status.

You must still carry out a fire-risk assessment but any fire certificates you have may be useful as a good starting point.

If your premises have been designed and built in line with modern building regulations (and are being used in line with those regulations), your structural fire precautions should be acceptable. You will still need to carry out a fire-risk assessment and make sure that you keep up all fire precautions and maintenance routines.

Identify fire hazards :

sources of ignition
sources of fuel
sources of oxygen.

Identify people at risk Identify:

people in and around the premises.
people who are especially at risk.

Evaluate, remove or reduce, and protect from risk

Evaluate the risk of a fire starting.
Evaluate the risk to people from a fire.
Remove or reduce fire hazards.
Remove or reduce the risks to people from a fire.
Protect people by providing fire precautions

Record, plan, inform, instruct, and train

Record any major findings and action you have taken.

Discuss and work with other responsible people.
Prepare an emergency plan.
Inform and instruct relevant people.
Provide training.


Review your fire-risk assessment regularly. Make changes where necessary.

Enforcement Action€“ Unlimited Fines & Imprisonment

Failure to carry out these basic task could lead to enforcement action by the fire safety authorities which may include unlimited fines and possible term of imprisonment

Huge £42k Fine For Landlord Who Breached Fire Safety Rules

A landlord has been handed a whopping fine of £42,000 for a number of fire safety failings following an investigation arising from a complaint made by one of the tenants.

Pub Fined For Putting Members Of Public At Risk

A pub and its owner has been fined £9,200 after putting members of the public at risk due to lax fire safety provisions.

Restaurant Owner Landed £40k Fire Safety Fine

A restaurant owner has admitted to six fire safety breaches and has been handed a fine of £40,000 and ordered to pay £6,800 in costs.

If you need help and advice on how to keep your workplace, workforce and visitors safe call to speak to our team on 0800 999 5955

We can help train your Responsible Person and staff to obtain Level 2 Fire Safety & Role of the Fire Marshall as a minimum standard in helping demonstrate that you take your legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 seriously

Further reading

For information on Fire safety can be found below.

Health and Safety Executive - Fire Safety - Fire safety in the workplace

Fire safety law Scotland

Fire safety law - Northern Ireland