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The legislation

Good fire safety management saves lives and protects property

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (sometimes referred to as the Fire Safety Order or FSO for short) came into effect in October 2006 and replaced over 70 pieces of
fire safety law. There is no longer a requirement to have a fire certificate, but if you have
an old certificate it may form a useful place to start your risk assessment.

The FSO applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, including the common parts of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The law applies to you if you are:

  • responsible for business premises
  • an employer or self-employed with business premises
  • responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
  • a charity or voluntary organisation
  • a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
  • providing accommodation for paying guests

Under the FSO, the responsible person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. You may feel more comfortable employing a fire safety specialist to help you. Companies providing fire safety services are listed in local directories. Alternatively you may be able to ask your insurer for a recommendation.

The full text of Statutory Instrument 2005 No 1541 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 can be downloaded from

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority has a duty to enforce this legislation. We will do so in accordance with the guidance published by the government and Local Better Regulation Office We believe that preventing fires as well as providing education and advice is the best way to improve fire safety everywhere but we will take formal enforcement action where necessary.

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