Fire Safety Legislation

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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 - Fire safety legislation for fire doors

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is fire safety legislation that places a legal duty on building owners to comply with the fire safety legislation contained therein. They have a duty to appoint a 'responsible person' to look after fire safety and that person can be the owner or manager of the building or premises. It could also be the employer of the business, the manager of a shopping mall, an apartment store, the owner or landlord of a block of flats or apartments, the headmaster of a school orpPrincipal of a college, CEO of a company or NHS Trust.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (sometimes referred to as the FSO or RRO) came into force in October 2006 and is fire safety legislation that covers or applies to the fire safety of virtually all premises (other than private dwellings) and covers the vast majority of types of buildings in England and Wales.

Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order requires a suitable fire safety maintenance program or regime to be in place so as to ensure relevant equipment is maintained in correct working order (this includes fire doors and escape doors in a building).

Article 18 of the Fire Safety Order places a requirement on the 'responsible person’ to appoint one or more 'competent persons' to assist in undertaking the preventative and protective fire safety measures*. (* Source

The 'competent person' will need to be able to demonstrate his or her competence in relation to fire safety. In this respect, with regard to fire doors and escape doors, this is where the 'certificated fire door inspector' can help, backed by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme.

REMEMBER: Compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is mandatory.

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The key changes in Fire Safety Management under the Fire Safety Order are:

  • Building owners, Landlords, Head Teachers, Estates Managers, CEO's / MD's and many other people in charge of buildings and premises now shoulder the legal responsibility for fire safety.
  • They have the responsibility to appoint a 'responsible person' to look after the fire safety of for each building.
  • This person has to ensure that the fire risk assessment is carried out and reviewed at least annually and is documented in an appropriate fashion.
  • The fire risk assessment has to demonstrate that adequate attention has been paid to all aspects of fire safety management; including active and passive fire protection measures, signage, means of escape and evacuation procedures in the event of a fire.
  • If there is a lack of in-depth knowledge the 'responsible person' has a duty to engage a 'competent person' - i.e. someone with the relevant level of fire safety expertise to be able to implement or advise in key areas or relating to fire safety issues.

In a very large number of cases this will mean individuals not trained or qualified in fire safety management being expected to become or get access to fire safety experts very quickly in order to fulfil their responsibilities.

The term 'fired door' usually refers to a fire door leaf, the main component of a fire door assembly or fire doorset.

The leaf is installed into a fire-rated frame, complete with its essential ironmongery so that a fire door is able to perform correctly in the event of becoming involved in a fire situation.

The door is tested as a complete assembly or fire doorset and can only work correctly if installed using the same fire safe compatible  components as when it was tested.

Fire doorsets are fire doors that are pre-assembled in their frame and include all the correct components such as ironmongery and seals.

This guarantees that the entire fire doorset, including the individual components, will match the tested design. It also means that there is less room for error because the compatible components are in place, so you avoid the problem of having to source correct components individually.

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Fire Door Assembly components

Fire Door Assembly components are often sourced from different manufacturers, where you can select a range of products, but remember, the MUST be compatible with the fire door's test evidence. If any individual component gets damaged, it can be replaced from another supplier.

The correct components for a fire door assembly are listed in the manufacturer’s instructions and can be sourced from any BWF approved fire door centre or from companies listed in the BWF-Certifire Fire Door & Doorset Scheme Directory.

Remember: A fire door is not just the door leaf. It is a complete fire door assembly comprising the frame, any glazing, intumescent and smoke seals and all the ironmongery that is used on the door such as hinges, latches and locks, and overhead door closers.

Building Regulations relate to fire safety, other construction elements and fire door performance.

You can gain access to the full range of Building Regulations guidance and downloads by using the following website addresses:

Fire Safety B 2 E
Sound E 5 G
Ventilation F 3 K
Thermal L 6 F
Accessibility M 3 R
Safety K 4 V
Security Q 4KU
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