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The biggest single reform of fire safety legislation in over 30 years...
The biggest single reform of fire safety legislation in over 30 years

which will simplify the law for thousands of businesses while placing

a greater focus on prevention has now been agreed by parliament.

The new law which comes into force next April consolidates existing

fire legislation. At present fire safety laws are scattered across

more than 70 pieces of legislation.

It also improves fire safety by placing the responsibility for fire

safety on the employer or 'responsible person' for that building or

premises. He or she will be required to assess the risks of fire and

take steps to reduce or remove them.

In addition, businesses will no longer need a fire certificate -

though fire and rescue authorities will still continue to inspect

premises and ensure adequate fire precautions are in place.

Fire and rescue service minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:

'The reform of fire safety legislation will improve public safety by

placing a greater focus on fire prevention. It is also good for

business and the Fire and Rescue Service as it will make fire safety

legislation easier to understand.

'We have worked with representatives from business, the fire and

rescue service, trade unions and other bodies in bringing forward

this change - the largest single reform of fire safety legislation in

over 30 years.

'But, its completion through parliament is not the end. We'll now

work with our partners to produce guidance to assist businesses in

meeting the legal requirements of the order before it comes into

force next April.'

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order is the largest order to be

brought forward under the Regulatory Reform Act and the changes have

been subject to extensive consultation. It is intended that the

guidance documents will be available early in 2006.

The reform applies to England and Wales.


1. Consultation on the reform of fire safety legislation, which

included all major stakeholders such as CFOA and the unions took

place in 2002.

2. The reform repeals the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and amends or

removes wherever possible the many other provisions dealing with fire

safety contained in other legislation.

3. It was implemented under the Regulatory Reform Act. This Act was

intended to allow ministers to reform over-complex regulatory


4. The order was laid before parliament on 10 May 2004 and since then

has been subject to parliamentary scrutiny. The order was approved by

the House of Commons on 24 May 2005 and by the House of Lords on 7

June 2005.

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