Understanding Fire Safety Regulations

Fire safety can be confusing at the best of times, working out what which areas apply to you whilst also ensuring your business complies with the regulations.

The following is a short overview to help simply what exactly is expected of you and your business.

What is the Fire Safety Order 2005?

To try and simplify things the government replaced most of the various acts with one simple act which orders those responsible to take reasonable steps to ensure the fire risk to their premises is reduced and to ensure people can safely escape should there be a fire.

What are your obligations under the Order?

  • Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment (Legal Requirement for business with 5 or more employees)​

  • Pay attention to special risks

  • Get rid of or reduce as much as possible any risk that is present and provide suitable firefighting equipment for remaining risks.

  • Take extra measures for flammable or explosive items either stored or used on the premises.​

  • Create a Fire Plan detailing means of escape and actions in the event of a fire. Make sure all employees understand the plan and also make it available to any visitors to your premises.

What is meant by the term ‘Responsible Person’?

Within a business the responsible person is normally the owner of the business or premises. It is down to this person to ensure things such as Fire Risk Assessments, Staff Fire Training & Fire Equipment checks are carried out sufficiently.

The responsible person can pass these tasks on to a competent person but it is important to remember that is the responsible person who is responsible in law to ensure all these tasks are carried out correctly.

It is also this person’s responsibility to ensure people can escape safely in the event of a fire.

What is meant by the term ‘Competent Person’?

A competent person is someone who has sufficient training, experience or knowledge to assist you in carrying out the tasks.

There is no legal requirement for them to have qualifications just a good understanding of the tasks they are undertaking and ability to show they can do the job satisfactorily.

The competent person can be an employee within your business or outsourced Fire Safety Company.

Fire Risk Assessment

To carry out a Fire Risk Assessment the following principles need to be applied:

Identify Fire Hazards

  • Sources of Ignition, Fuel and Oxygen

Identify People at Risk

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

Evaluate, Remove or Reduce and Protect from Risk

  • Evaluate the risk of fire starting, the risk to people from fire

  • Remove or reduce fire hazards, the risk to people from fire

  • Protect people by providing fire precautions

Record, Plan, Inform, Instruct and Train

  • Record major findings and actions you have taken to rectify them

  • Discuss and work with other responsible people

  • Prepare Emergency Plans

  • Inform and instruct relevant people

  • Provide training


  • Review your fire risk assessment regularly

  • Make changes as and when required

Fire Equipment Checks

The Responsible / Competent Person should ensure equipment checks are carried out and recorded in a log book and a monthly basis.

Monthly checks should include:

  • Fire Extinguishers

  • Emergency Escape Routes and Exits

  • Signs

  • Emergency Lighting (if present)

  • Fire Alarms (if present)

Any inspecting Local Authority Fire Brigade would expect these checks to be recorded and easily accessible for them to view.

Other things that should be recorded are:

  • Fire Drills

  • Employee Fire Awareness Training

The above is a brief overview to help you understand your basic requirements under the Fire Safety Order 2005.

For more in depth detail of any of the points listed please do not hesitate to contact us.

We can also provide you with a Free Fire Equipment Log Book and Fire Risk Assessment Template in PDF form.

Please email us at and we will provide you with these.

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