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Are you ready?

New Fire Safety rules will come into force on 1st October, affecting all organisations in England and Wales.

The new rules mean that all organisations, the self-employed and people responsible for non-domestic premises will need to act before the Fire Safety Reform Order comes into force or face potential prosecution.

The main effect of the change is a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises. What this means for employers and persons in charge of premises is that they must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and ensure the safety of all those who may be affected by the risk of fire. They must also provide information and training in fire precautions and emergency arrangements.

Dr Gary Mason from Praxis42, one of the UK’s leading providers of Health and Safety elearning said: “All employers and the self-employed who are responsible for non-domestic premises need to act now in order to comply with the new regulations from October.”

The Order imposes duties on the reponsible person to establish general fire precautions to ensure the safety of employees and others who maybe affected by the risk of fire Dr Mason continued:

“These precautions include training in fire safety emergency arrangements, fire prevention and fire safety procedures all of which are now required by law.”

Praxis42 has launched a new eLearning course in Fire Safety at Work that has been developed in conjunction with its team of fire experts and external professional bodies to ensure it exactly matches the requirements of the new law.

Using up to date research, this course helps organisations meet the training and information requirements of the new Fire Safety Order.

Dr Mason concluded:

“eLearning courses provide the perfect way to comply with all the latest legislation. With up to the minute training they offer organisations of any size the ability to provide instant, interactive computer-based knowledge to their employees and those who the organisation owes duties to – when and where they need it.”

The new Praxis42 Fire Safety eLearning provides training in the correct course of action on finding a fire and how to make the workplace a safer environment to work. It works perfectly as a stand-alone course or can be used as a blended learning solution with instructor led training. It also offers the added benefit of being linked to a learning management system that logs and tracks access and completion of the course, giving employers confidence that they are complying with the new legislation.

The new Fire Safety Reform Order is a consolidation of existing fire safety legislation and is being introduced to make the law easier to understand and comply with. Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order will rest with the ‘responsible person’, usually the employer or site manager, who will have to carry out a fire risk assessment, which must focus on the safety of all relevant persons. Organisations that employ five or more people must now record the significant findings of the assessment. Praxis42 are also able to offer fire risk assessment services through its expert team.

Praxis42 is one of the industry’s leading health and safety eLearning providers, offering
organisations easy and cost-effective compliance with all the latest legislation.

Other courses available include: -

Display Screen Equipment, Working at Height, Office Safety, Manual Handling Awareness, Noise Awareness.
For further information please see call 0870 446 4201 or email


Note to editors:

Course Features

- Overview of the Fire Safety Regulations and what they mean
- Knowing your organisation’s fire policy and procedures
- Understanding fire and how fires start
- Minimising fire hazards in the workplace
- Safe waste disposal
- Obstructions to escape routes
- Action on discovering a fire and what constitutes a fire incident
- Safe visual assessment of risk
- Guidelines on when and how you should raise the alarm and why people hesitate
- What to do on hearing the alarm
- Guidelines on tackling a fire
- Fire evacuation procedures
- Location of escape routes and how you should use them
- How to use fire doors and fastenings
- The use of lifts during fires
- Procedures for people with disabilities
- The provision and use of fire extinguishers
- Different types of fires
- Different types of extinguishers and their colour codes
- Using an extinguisher, including locking mechanisms and operating techniques
- Self – assessment test
- Final checklist of points learned during the course

Background information on the new Order

As part of the Government's commitment to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has reviewed current fire safety law; and is making a number of changes through the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO).

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, is the biggest overhaul of fire safety legislation in decades.

Jim Fitzpatrick, the ODPM Minister responsible for fire safety said: “The Government’s over-riding aim is to save more people from death and injury by reducing risk and preventing fires.”

What is a Regulatory Reform Order?

The Regulatory Reform Act 2001 gives Ministers the power, by order, to reform legislation which 'has the effect of imposing burdens affecting persons in the carrying on of any activity'.

Such orders are known as Regulatory Reform Orders.

Before a Minister may make a Regulatory Reform Order, he or she must take the following three steps:

· consult widely with those affected by the proposals

· lay before Parliament a proposal for an order, together with an explanatory statement, and allow time for Parliamentary consideration

· lay before Parliament, and obtain Parliament's approval of, a draft order.

Only once all these steps have been successfully completed may the order become law.

Legal Requirements

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was approved by Parliament on 7 June 2005 and will affect:

· Anyone responsible for business premises

· Employers

· Self-employed with business premises

· Charities or voluntary organisations

· a contractor with a degree of control over any premises

The main effect of the changes will be a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises, including the voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes.

The Fire Safety Order covers 'general fire precautions' and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect 'relevant persons' in case of fire in and around most 'premises'. The Order requires fire precautions to be put in place "where necessary" and to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances of the case.

Fire certificates will be abolished and will cease to have legal status.

The Fire Safety Order will apply in England and Wales. Northern Ireland and Scotland will have their own laws.

All the laws have a requirement to ensure that those at risk receive information and training.

Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order will rest with the 'responsible person'. In a workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, e.g. the occupier or owner. In all other premises the person or people in control of the premises will be responsible.

You have to carry out a fire risk assessment which will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain.
If you employ five or more people you must record the significant findings of the assessment.

The new rules are based on the 1997 document “Fire Legislation for the Future” and were developed with stakeholders from the fire industry, unions, business interests and others. A consultation took place in June 2002 with documents being sent out to around 10,000 businesses, government departments, unions, trade bodies and other interested parities.

What does this mean in real terms?

If you are the responsible person you will have to carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as the disabled and those with special needs, and must include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on the premises. Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain.

Part of the legal requirement and the general fire precautions will be the need to train and inform those affected by the findings of the risk assessment.

Further help and information

A number of guides are available to assist those preparing fire risk assessments; these will give detailed information on risk assessments and other issues.

More information is available at or

For further information or to request an interview with Dr Gary Mason please contact:

Kim Peatfield
Write Stuff Communications Ltd
Tel: 01335 350476
Tel: 07966 478781

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