Legal Obligations



The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the biggest single reform of fire safety laws in over 30 years.  It simplifies the law for businesses and places a greater focus on prevention.

The law, which came into force on 1st October 2006, consolidates existing fire safety laws, which were scattered across more than 70 pieces of legislation. It also places the responsibility for fire safety on the employer or ‘responsible person’ for that building or premises. Under the Fire Safety legislation the ‘responsible person’ for each premises must carry out an assessment of the risks (risk assessment) of fire and take steps to reduce or remove the risk.

Who does it apply to? 

The Order requires that a responsible person (the person having control of the building, or a degree of control) takes reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and makes sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. This includes all people that might visit the premises. For more information, see Responsible person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Do the regulations apply to my premises?

From the 1st October 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force.  This applies to nearly every type of building and structure.

For example, it applies to:

  • Offices and shops
  • Care providers (including care homes and hospitals)
  • Community halls, places of worship and other community premises
  • The shared areas of properties several households live in (housing laws may also apply)
  • Pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • Schools and sports centres
  • Tents and marquees
  • Hotels and hostels
  • Factories and warehouses

It does not apply to:

  • People’s private homes

Regulation 38 and fire safety engineering

Regulation 38 is a requirement under the Building Regulations for England and Wales to provide fire safety information to the ’responsible person’ at the completion of a project, or when the building or extension is first occupied. It links the Building Regulations to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (known as the RRO or FSO) which places the responsibility of fire safety onto the ‘responsible person’. The law now shifts responsibility for fire safety from the fire authorities to whoever has day-to-day control of premises that come under the RRO. Each business must appoint a responsible person, whether it is the owner, facilities manager or an expert consultant, to manage the fire risk to the building (e.g. of a hospital / school / flats), and to people using the building, or its immediate surroundings.

Fire safety information

38.— (1) This regulation applies where building work—

(a)consists of or includes the erection or extension of a relevant building; or

(b)is carried out in connection with a relevant change of use of a building,

and Part B of Schedule 1 imposes a requirement in relation to the work.

(2) The person carrying out the work shall give fire safety information to the responsible person not later than the date of completion of the work, or the date of occupation of the building or extension, whichever is the earlier.

(3) In this regulation—

(a)“fire safety information” means information relating to the design and construction of the building or extension, and the services, fittings and equipment provided in or in connection with the building or extension which will assist the responsible person to operate and maintain the building or extension with reasonable safety;

(b)a “relevant building” is a building to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies, or will apply after the completion of building work;

(c)a “relevant change of use” is a material change of use where, after the change of use takes place, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will apply, or continue to apply, to the building; and

(d)“responsible person” has the meaning given by article 3 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire Door Inspection and Certification

Helpful Links

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005


Building Regulations Approved Documents in England


Building Regulations Approved Documents in Wales


Approved Document B (Fire Safety) Volume 1 – Dwelling, 2019 Edition

Fire doors are required: 

  • In a cavity barrier (wall) where applicable
  • Above two levels, every door leading to the stairwell (at all levels). Where the door leads to a habitable room (i.e. not a bathroom or w/c)
  • When a property has a loft conversion
  • Between house and integral garage
  • Between the business and residential elements in a mixed-use building

Approved Document B (Fire Safety) Volume 2 – Buildings other than Dwelling, 2019 edition

Fire doors are required in many different non-domestic buildings such as:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Flats
  • House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hotels
  • Public Buildings
  • Offices
  • Warehouses
  • Entertainment Venues
  • Factories and more…

A Short Guide to Making Your Premises Safe

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