Until 2006, fire officers inspected commercial premises and issued a fire certificate based upon their findings, highlighting any points which needed addressing. These certificates were issued to landlords and/or managing agents so they could act upon any recommendations made. Following the introduction of new fire safety legislation in 2006, these certificates are now obsolete and have no legal status.
The Government revised this legislation to protect relevant persons, minimise potential risks to employees and in 2006 introduced The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This new legislation puts the onus of fire safety in the workplace firmly on the building's landlords, managing agents and tenants. To comply, fire safety now rests exclusively with the 'Responsible Person', meaning anyone who has control over any part of the building. For instance, the tenant has sole control over their residence whilst the landlord is responsible for all common areas, therefore both parties need to work together to ensure compliance. The 'Responsible Person' must carry out a fire risk assessment or appoint a 'competent person' to maintain and implement a fire management plan for any areas of a building under their control. Legislation also states that if you employ 5 or more people then you must record your findings by way of a written fire risk assessment.
At Magnus, because we own and manage our buildings in-house, we work in conjunction with our customers and are able to offer advice where needed to ensure adequate safety measures are in place. Following the introduction of this 'Reform Order', from experience our customers are becoming more aware of their responsibilities and are formally putting safety procedures in place.