Employers warned of new fire legislation


Employers have been urged to consider fire safety at their workplaces ahead of new legislation coming into force on October 1st.

From this date, responsibility for fire safety will lie with those responsible for any premises in England or Wales where people gather, including employers, self-employed people with premises and voluntary organisations.

Responsible persons will have a duty to ensure the safety of those using the building and in the immediate vicinity if there is a fire, and are under obligation to carry out a fire safety risk assessment by October 1st.

The new legislation will replace 70 existing pieces of legislation with a single regime which aims to prevent fires from happening in the first place, the head of Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate, Sir Graham Meldrum said.

For companies who meet their obligations under the current law, the new rules should not cost anything more and may even save employers money.

"Prevention has always been better than cure and these important reforms reflect the government's continued focus on risk assessment and fire prevention to reduce death, injury and damage caused by fire. It is also a flagship example of the drive to cut red tape by making it quicker and easier to tackle over-complicated regulation," said fire minister, Angela Smith.

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