The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005 came into effect in October 2006, effectively replacing a multitude of fragmented and outmoded fire safety legislation in a single stroke.
The Order applies to all non-domestic premises across England and Wales - including the common parts of blocks of flats or houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Separate legislation applicable to Scotland is contained in the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations (FSSR) 2006.
The RRFSO legislation 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 used solely for business purposes
- a charity or voluntary organisation
- a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
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; 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.
Where two or more persons share responsibility (e.g. tenant / landlord, multiple occupancy buildings or adjacent premises sharing common elements) those responsible persons must co-operate, share information and collaborate in order to provide adequate safety measures.
In this Order "competent person" means:
"A person is to be regarded as competent for the purposes of this article where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures".
Anyone appointed by the responsible person, for example a company fire warden or fire alarm service engineer, may be directly employed or a sub-contractor but, crucially, must possess the necessary level of competence in order to carry out their duties.
GAI / DHF Code of Practice
The Guild of Architectural Ironmongery and the Door & Hardware Federation have jointly released a document aimed at architects, building control officers, fire officers, responsible persons (as designated under the RRFSO) together with specifiers and suppliers of building hardware. If deemed a “competent person” you could be held liable for the advice you give - use this code as a reference.
It offers best practice advice on the selection of building hardware for use on fire-resisting doors and doorsets.
The code also references related legislation and guidelines, including:
- Construction Products Regulations
- CE marking
- Building Regulations - England & Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland
- DDA & amendments to Approved Document M
- Certification Schemes & Declarations of Conformity
For further information on RRFSO and downloadable fire safety risk assessment guides from
Communities and Local Government please click here.