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Warning to employers over new fire regulations

PRESS INFORMATION - press enquiries to Sam Dabbs, Dabbs PR & Marketing Tel: 01939 210503/07050 108985

DWF118/06
24 July 2006

Warning to employers over new fire regulations

Employers need to act now to avoid falling foul of new fire safety rules which come into force on 1 October, warn lawyers DWF.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order will mean existing fire certificates are no longer valid, says David Collins, senior safety consultant of DWF: “The new rules are the biggest shake-up of fire safety legislation in decades and oblige employers to be more proactive in preventing fires and protecting people on or around the premises.”

The rules place full liability on the ‘responsible person’ - usually the employer but possibly also the landlord or occupier or any other person who has control of any part of the premises. They apply to all non-domestic premises, including voluntary organisations and self-employed people with premises outside the home.

The legislation stipulates that a risk assessment must be carried out to identify hazards in the workplace and people who are particularly at risk, including those working in close proximity to ignition sources, disabled people, visitors and members of the emergency services.

The assessment should look at ways to remove or reduce the risks, for example by providing adequate alarm systems and fire-fighting equipment, and ensure there are suitable escape routes. The findings should be recorded and reviewed at regular intervals.

Collins advises: “Employers should ensure a thorough risk assessment is carried out and look at how fire incidents can take place. When every foreseeable eventuality has been considered, they should document the findings as evidence that they have thought about the issues and taken all reasonable precautions to prevent fire and protect people at risk.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

DWF is one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK, with over 350 legal advisers (including 69 partners) and 600 staff based in Manchester and Liverpool. DWF is the largest law firm in the North West based on the number of NW based fee earners as reported in the latest Legal 500 directory. DWF services cover the following areas, delivered by specialist teams – including leading experts in their field:

Banking & Asset finance
Business Recovery
Corporate & Commercial
Dispute Resolution
Employment Law
Health, Safety & Environment
Insurance
Property & Construction
Wealthcare

We have developed extensive sector-specific expertise in a number of areas and have created specialist groups to enable our clients to benefit from this expertise.

Further information on DWF is available via www.dwf.co.uk

Media enquiries to:

Sam Dabbs
Dabbs PR & Marketing
T: 01939 210503 or 07050 108985
E: sam@dabbsprm.com