Basic Fire Safety Legislation

Fire Safety Legislation

Your global location will govern the specific fire safety legislation your business needs to comply with.

In England and Wales it is the “Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005”, in Scotland it is the “Fire Act Scotland 2005” and in Northern Ireland it is “The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010”.

The content of this website is designed to meet the requirements of these specific pieces of legislation. However, if you are a user outside of these areas, the website will still have much benefit, as the principals of fire safety remain the same all over the world.

It is recommended users outside the United Kingdom ensure they know and understand their own relevant fire safety legislation to ensure they meet their requirements.

“The Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005”, “Fire Act Scotland 2005” and “The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010” Replace all previous legislation with the aim of consolidating and streamlining fire safety in the workplace and using a risk based approach.

This means every employer must now carry out a fire risk assessment of their premises and if they employ more than 4 people they must record the significant findings of this assessment. This assessment must be kept under regular review and updated periodically where necessary.

There are several other key points each employer must also carry out


Every employer has a duty to take “General Fire Precautions”, there are six main categories, which are:


1.Carry out risk assessments of the premises and reduce the risk of fire.

2.Ensure adequate means of escape from the premises.

3.Ensure that at all times, escape routes and exits can be used.

4.Provide the correct firefighting equipment.

5.Have a means for detecting and raising the fire alarm.

6.Provide training and information to all employees and third parties in relation to fire safety.


The training must include suitable and sufficient instruction and training on the appropriate precautions and actions to be taken by employees. If you have been given extra fire safety responsibilities e.g. fire marshal/warden, then suitable and sufficient extra training must be carried out prior to your commencement in that role. It must be repeated periodically and take place during working hours.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Once an employer employs more than 4 people they must ensure all their fire safety precautions are documented formally. Employers with less than 4 employees are still required to meet all the duties under the legislation; however they do not need to have it formally documented. 


Employees, have legal duties under fire safety legislation too


Every employee must, whilst at work – 

–Take reasonable care for the safety of themselves and of other relevant persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work;

–Co-operate with the site fire safety arrangements as far as is necessary

–Inform their employer of any potential situation they deem to be a serious and immediate danger to safety, and any potential short comings in the current fire safety arrangements


It is an offence for any person to fail to comply with these general duties of an employee, where that failure places one or more persons at risk of death or serious injury.