Possible changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

21 October 2021

The Home Office has published a summary of the responses to the consultation, launched back in 2019 by the then Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), on proposals for what it described as a radically new building and fire safety system in England.

This included a review of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which provides a framework for regulating fire safety in all non-domestic premises, including workplaces and the parts of multi-occupied residential buildings used in common, in England and Wales.

The summary of the 264 responses to the consultation, covers a wide range of sectors and interests in fire safety.

Available at www.gov.uk, this latest document notes that most respondents agreed that the scope and objectives of the Fire Safety Order remain appropriate for all regulated premises.

It should, respondents said, retain its focus on protecting lives over property and should continue to provide a framework for a risk-based and proportionate approach to regulating fire safety.

However, a number of areas which need further consideration were highlighted. These include:

  • the self-identification of the responsible person and the assurance that they understand and hold the competence to carry out their fire safety duties

  • the need to update current guidance which supports the legislation for responsible persons and enforcing authorities, including whether it is accessible for the broad range of persons covered by the Order

  • the overlap of legislation, specifically the Housing Act 2004 and Fire Safety Order, that exists in multi-occupied residential buildings

  • the sharing of fire safety information between individual responsible persons, and between the responsible persons and other relevant personnel involved in the fire safety of the building, for example authorities and relevant persons.

The Home Office points out that the current Fire Safety Bill will clarify that external wall systems and flat entrance doors are included in scope of the Fire Safety Order, while the Building Safety Bill will set out the new regime for high rise residential buildings.

“The intention is to consult on proposals relating to the Fire Safety Order in spring 2020 [sic],” it concludes.