Author: fire-admin

Article 4 – The Meaning of “General Fire Precautions”

Meaning of “general fire precautions” 4.—(1) In this Order “general fire precautions” in relation to premises means, subject to paragraph (2)— (a)measures to reduce the risk of fire on the premises and the risk of the spread of fire on the premises; (b)measures in relation to the means of escape from the premises; (c)measures for securing that, at all material times, the means of escape can be safely and effectively used; (d)measures in relation to the means for fighting fires on the premises; (e)measures in relation to the means for detecting fire on the premises and giving warning in case of fire on the premises; and (f)measures in relation to the arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire on the premises, including— (i)measures relating to the instruction and training of employees; and (ii)measures to mitigate the effects of the fire. (2) The precautions referred to in paragraph (1) do not include special, technical or organisational measures required to be taken or observed in any workplace in connection with the carrying on of any work process, where those measures — (a)are designed to prevent or reduce the likelihood of fire arising from such a work process or reduce its intensity; and (b)are required to be taken or observed to ensure compliance with any requirement of the relevant statutory provisions within the meaning given by section 53(1)...

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Article 2 – Interpretation

Interpretation 2. In this Order— “alterations notice” has the meaning given by article 29; “approved classification and labelling guide” means the Approved Guide to the Classification and Labelling of Dangerous Substances and Dangerous Preparations (5th edition)(1) approved by the Health and Safety Commission on 16th April 2002; “the CHIP Regulations” means the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002(2); “child” means a person who is not over compulsory school age, construed in accordance with section 8 of the Education Act 1996(3); “dangerous substance” means— (a)a substance or preparation which meets the criteria in the approved classification and labelling guide for classification as a substance or preparation which is explosive, oxidising, extremely flammable, highly flammable or flammable, whether or not that substance or preparation is classified under the CHIP Regulations; (b)a substance or preparation which because of its physico-chemical or chemical properties and the way it is used or is present in or on premises creates a risk; and (c)any dust, whether in the form of solid particles or fibrous materials or otherwise, which can form an explosive mixture with air or an explosive atmosphere; “domestic premises” means premises occupied as a private dwelling (including any garden, yard, garage, outhouse, or other appurtenance of such premises which is not used in common by the occupants of more than one such dwelling); “employee” means a person who is or...

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Evidencing the Responsible Person

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) has now been in force for over 10 years. A review of the effectiveness of the FSO 2 years after it came into effect found that the Act was “bedding in” well with both enforcers and responsible persons. I am not aware of any further reviews since. The review highlighted a number of areas which could benefit from further action and one in particular is the “clarification” of who a ‘responsible person’ is. Clarification in relation to the responsible person is hard to find. Over the past 10 years I have prosecuted for or advised 8 separate Fire Service Authorities (FSA’s). During that time I have conducted a number of Seminars and Training Programs and I can say without question that the most significant concern of raised with me during those sessions by Fire Officers was the identification of a responsible person. The FSO defines the meaning of responsible person in Article 3 and goes on to provide further assistance in Articles 5 (3) and 5 (4). This is at least more helpful than the Fire Precautions Act 1971 which used the phrase ‘Owner’ or ‘Occupier’ without providing a definition for the word ‘Occupier’. In addition, there are the numerous guidance documents which also assist in identifying persons who could be responsible. But what about the Investigating Fire Officer who...

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Article 3 – The Responsible Person

Meaning of “responsible person” 3.  In this Order “responsible person” means—    (a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;    (b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)—    (i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for    profit or not); or    (ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other    undertaking. What the Enforcement Guidance says: Article 3 defines who is the responsible person for the premises. In order to meet the obligations under EC Directives, wherever there is an employer they will continue to be responsible for the safety of their employees. In order to achieve the necessary broader coverage of the legislation beyond workplaces, the definition has been extended. Therefore, where there is no employer in any premises, the occupier or owner of the premises is the responsible person. The responsible person will be responsible not only for the safety of employees, but for that of any person (a “relevant person”, as defined in article 2) lawfully on the premises, or in the immediate vicinity of the premises and at risk from a...

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Article 8

Duty to take general fire precautions 8.—(1) The responsible person must— (a)take such general fire precautions as will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of any of his employees; and (b)in relation to relevant persons who are not his employees, take such general fire precautions as may reasonably be required in the circumstances of the case to ensure that the premises are safe. What the Enforcement Guidance says:   This article imposes on the responsible person the duty to implement the preventive and protective measures which have been evaluated in the risk assessment. This article reflects the principles of the European Framework and Workplace Directives – to assess the likelihood of fire and its consequences for those in the workplace and to take appropriate measures to reduce or eliminate such risks. By virtue of this article, the responsible person is under a duty to ensure that general fire precautions are in place to ensure the safety of any of his employees, or of any relevant persons who are not his employees. The duty imposed is very similar to that imposed by the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Employers, self employed persons and other responsible persons must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that general fire precautions are in place for the safety of any of their employees and other...

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Warren Spencer

Warren Spencer

Warren Spencer is one of the country’s leading fire safety lawyers. He has now prosecuted and defended fire safety cases for over 12 years and has also conducted numerous Enforcement and Prohibition Notice Appeals brought under the Fire Safety Order. He is able to offer impartial professional expert legal advice in all aspects of fire safety enforcement.

Warren is a Higher Courts Advocate, an accreditation which enables him to work as an advocate in the Crown Court. Warren has conducted prosecutions for Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside, Hereford & Worcester, Shropshire and Wrekin Fire & Rescue Services, as well as advising businesses and professionals on various aspects of Fire Safety Law including its effect upon PFI contracts.

Warren is a part-time Tribunal Judge and in 2015 he was appointed as a 'Legally Qualified Chair' for Police Disciplinary proceedings in the North West. He is also a former Assistant Deputy Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde.

Tel: 01253 629300


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