Fire Regulations & No Smoking Policies
Fire Regulations – are you prepared?
There are a series of guides available to assist those preparing fire risk assessments. More information is available at
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) lists the following points:
1. As part of the Government's commitment to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has reviewed current fire safety law; and is making a number of changes through the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO).
2. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was approved by Parliament on 7 June 2005.
3. The main effect of the changes will be a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises, including the voluntary sector and self-employed people with premises separate from their homes.
4. Fire certificates will be abolished and will cease to have legal status.
5. The Fire Safety Order will apply in England and Wales. Northern Ireland and Scotland will have their own laws.
6. Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order will rest with the 'responsible person'. In a workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, e.g. the occupier or owner. In all other premises the person or people in control of the premises will be responsible.
7. If there is more than one responsible person in any type of premises, all must take all reasonable steps to work with each other.
8. If you are the responsible person you will have to carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as the disabled and those with special needs, and must include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on the premises.
9. Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain.
10. If you employ five or more people you must record the significant findings of the assessment.
11. The new rules are based on the 1997 document “Fire Legislation for the Future” and were developed with stakeholders from the fire industry, unions, business interests and others. A consultation took place in June 2002 with documents being sent out to around 10,000 businesses, government departments, unions, trade bodies and other interested parities.
12. Responsibility for enforcement of the new rules will be with the local fire and rescue service authority who will carry out regular inspections with top priority going to those premises presenting most risk to the community. They are able to do this within the context of the new Integrated Risk Management Planning (IRMP), part of the Governmentt’s modernisation agenda for the FRS.
13. For more than 40 years, the fire and rescue service provided cover for fires according to recommended standards. These standards dated back to 1947 and were based on property types within a given area.
14. Integrated risk management has shifted the focus in planning to put people first, looking at the risks arising from all fires and other emergency incidents, and at the options for reducing and managing them.
15. Before making each change, fire and rescue authorities have undertaken, and will continue to do so, wide consultation with their local communities.
For more information telephone 020 7944 4400 or see ODPM website: www.odpm.gov.uk
What do B&B owners need to know about the new 'smoke free' legislation? Whilst the legislation applies to virtually all enclosed premises, such as offices, shops, factories, restaurants and pubs, there are a few premises that will be exempt from the law, subject to strict conditions.
Hotels, boarding houses, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, inns and hostels which have two or more bedrooms set apart for the sleeping accommodation of guests are covered by the new law. However, as a proprietor you have the option of designating one or more bedrooms where the occupants can smoke.
The No Smoking Legislation does not apply to these designated 'smoking' rooms. The designated room should have a ventilation system which does not ventilate into any other part of the no-smoking premises and should be clearly marked as a room in which smoking is permitted. You are not, however, required to designate any rooms for smokers, if you do not wish to do so. Communal areas of your premises will be required to be smoke-free.
Those responsible for smoke-free premises will be required to display 'No Smoking' signs at the premises - for example, at the entrance of the B&B, in a prominent position. Failure to comply with the new law will be a criminal offence.
Additional information for employers and businesses is currently available on