HIGH RISE / RESIDENTIAL / CARE HOMES / HMOs
Given that most fires occur in domestic dwellings, it was recognised that a block of flats – as a building containing many such dwellings – had the potential for a higher risk to people should fire break out. Accordingly, the fire safety standards that were developed to address this risk sought to afford the same level of safety found in houses to those living in blocks of flats.
These standards have been embodied in Building Regulations, which now ensure adequate fire safety provisions are incorporated in blocks of flats when they are constructed.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) came into force in October 2006. It brought the common parts of blocks of flats within the scope of mainstream fire safety legislation for the first time.
OFFICES / INDUSTRIAL / RESTAURANTS / SHOPS
Building owners, employers and operators have a responsibility under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) to ensure that employees and users of their properties are safe.
Facilities should have a fire risk assessment and nominate a “responsible person” who has legal responsibility under the FSO and can be criminally prosecuted if they do not fulfil their duties. This covers a requirement upon the Responsible Person to demonstrate that in the event of danger, it must be possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and safely as possible.
The state of Fire Doors falls within this responsibility and is given specific reference in the FSO.
Whilst this legislation has been in place for a number of years, we continue to hear of business owners who do not understand their responsibilities, regular prosecutions and sadly injuries and deaths that can directly be associated with bad Fire Door management. Of particular concern has been mixed use buildings where businesses and residents co-exist (e.g. flats above shops or restaurants).
If you are a school head teacher or have been designated the “Responsible Person” for fire safety in a building you are responsible for taking steps to protect pupils and staff in the school from the risk of fire. It is your duty to ensure that all your passive and active fire protection is under a sustained, suitable and sufficient programme of inspection and maintenance.
The introduction of conventional fire doors and partitions can have a disastrous affect on a building's character and historic interest. Risk assessment and the development of a strategic approach to fire safety measures can lead to more sympathetic solutions. Capital Fire Doors can safely store your original doors and reproduce identical character doors that comply with current legislation.
HOTELS / HOSPITALS
With hundreds of guests and staff, and dozens of potential fire risks, fire safety is an extremely high priority for hotels and hospitals. The Fire Safety Order (FSO) sets out a number of regulations and guidelines that all businesses and building owners have to comply with to ensure the safety of property and persons. However, the way the FSO is interpreted is different in each case, as the idea is to identify and reduce fire risks associated with specific buildings.