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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order applies to all business properties/premises (except for a single domestic dwelling) whether they are ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’ (e.g. charity or voluntary organisation).

Types of premises/properties:

  • All workplaces and commercial premises.
  • All premises the public have access to.
  • The common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.
  • Also applies if you have paying guests.  For example, bed and breakfast (B&B), guesthouse, hotels, restaurants, or a self-catering property, such as a static caravan, cottage, lodge, etc.

What must I do to comply?

a) Identify your responsible person/persons.  (Part 2 (18) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order requires that a ‘competent person’ be appointed.  For more information, please click here.)

b) Carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly. (e.g. Annually or sooner if there are any change of circumstances affecting the fire risk assessment.)

c) Inform your employees (or their representatives) about the risks you have identified.

d) Implement and maintain appropriate fire safety measures.

e) Plan for an emergency.

f) Provide suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training.

  • All employees identified in your emergency plan with a supervisory role in a fire/emergency situation (e.g. heads of department, fire marshals/wardens), should be given details of your fire risk assessment and receive additional training.
  • Provide your all of your employees with information, fire safety instruction and training.

Fire Risk Assessment

Why do I need to provide fire safety training?

Suitable and sufficient training is required by law.  e.g. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (As Amended), the Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations.

In addition to the Health and Safety regulations, every employer must, in entrusting tasks to employees, take into account their capabilities as regards health and safety, so far as those capabilities relate to fire, to comply with the Fire Safety (Employees’ Capabilities) (Wales) Regulations, the Fire Safety (Employees’ Capabilities) (England) Regulations, etc.

Fire Marshal

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The Responsible Person (RP)

To comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order you must have a ‘responsible person’.  If there’s more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities.

The ‘responsible person’ must ensure they appoint a competent person to complete a fire safety risk assessment to comply with Part 2 (18) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment types

The type of Fire Safety Risk Assessment you require is dependent on your premises, what it is used for, and what is identified during inspections.

Type 1 Fire Safety Risk Assessment

A Type 1 Fire Safety Risk Assessment (FRA) is the most common and is non-destructive, assessing all of the common areas of your premises, such as the lobby area in a shared block of flats (but not individual dwellings) while ensuring that common parts of your premises have the arrangements which allow people to escape if there was a fire, such as emergency escape signage and emergency assembly point signage.

In some cases, construction points between individual premises/dwellings (such as shared supportive walls) will be inspected, but in most cases this is not necessary.

The results of a Type 1 FRA may reveal the requirement for further FRA’s, but if this is the case, it will list reasons why there is a further requirement.

Type 2 Fire Safety Risk Assessment

A Type 2 Fire Safety Risk Assessment that includes destructive sampling (an intrusive survey) are rare, and only normally recommended if a Type 1 FRA concluded there may be serious structural flaws in your premises which may increase the risk of fire spreading.

Type 2 FRA’s cover common parts and the inspection includes a degree of destructive exposure.

This increases the cost of this type of assessment, because a contractor would be required for the destructive sampling.

Type 3 Fire Safety Risk Assessments

A Type 3 Fire Safety Risk Assessment is comprehensive and is non-destructive, and covers all common areas of your premises and individual dwellings, considers all means of escapes (including those within individual dwellings), structures, compartmentation (e.g. between flats) and means of fire detection.

A Type 3 FRA is usually only considered necessary if there are fire risks within individual dwellings.

Landlords and building owners can find it difficult to arrange Type 3 FRA’s, because they require entrance into individual dwellings and are often easier if living spaces are empty.

Type 4 Fire Safety Risk Assessments

A Type 4 Fire Safety Risk Assessment is similar to a Type 2 FRA, but is more comprehensive, complicated and a destructive assessment that incorporates all communal areas and 10% of residential apartments, which is deemed to be a true reflection of the standard of fireproofing.  Access to individual dwellings is required and destructive sampling can lead to a need for repairs to be undertaken.

Type 4 FRA’s are only required in a limited number of circumstances, usually only being suggested if there is reason to believe there are serious defects in both common parts of your premises or individual dwellings.

What type of Fire Safety Risk Assessment do I need?

Most premises only require a Type 1 FRA, and if the building is not new, this has probably been conducted in the past.

Other types of FRA’s are only normally required if a Type 1 FRA finds risks or justifications for a more comprehensive assessment.  For example, if a Type 1 FRA finds there are inaccessible areas causing concerns, such as under floorboards, a Type 2 or Type 4 FRA (which includes destructive sampling) would be suggested.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment Outcomes

Destructive FRA’s (Type 2 and Type 4) often result in the need to complete building work to reduce fire risks that have been identified.  This might include additional ventilation, to allow smoke to escape or additional fire compartmentation additions, such as fire doors.

In cases where it is not practical to complete such works, a more comprehensive FRA may identify there is a need to amend ‘stay-put’ policies or fire evacuation procedures.

Asbestos Considerations

As Type 2 and Type 4 FRA’s include destructive sampling, if a premises was built pre-2000 building owners must consider asbestos to comply with Regulation 5 (Identification) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

In these cases, a Refurbishment and Demolition (R&D) survey is required, which identifies the risks of destructive sampling required for a FRA.


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