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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 affects employers and those who are responsible for non-domestic, industrial, commercial and residential premises. As a business you are required to comply with this legislation.

The previous requirement to have a written fire risk assessment only applied in certain circumstances, for example, where five or more persons were employed, or if you had a licence.

Since 1 October 2023, it has been a requirement to have a written fire risk assessment (regardless of the size or purpose of the business or premises) and have your fire safety arrangements recorded in full.

The purpose of the fire risk assessment is to identify potential hazards and risks and those persons at risk, together with any control measures you may need to introduce or have to maintain.

If you need help assessing fire risks or in putting appropriate safety measures in place, you may choose to employ a fire risk assessor/consultant to help you. Fire and Rescue Authorities do not complete fire risk assessments, but may give you advice about how to identify competent help. Although we do not assess risks for you, it is important that you feel able to approach us for advice when you need it; we will help you to work through issues relating to fire safety. The guidance provided here will assist you to identify a competent fire risk assessor.

The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council (FRACC) has published a set of criteria against which the competency of those undertaking fire risk assessments can be judged. The FRACC’s Competency Criteria For Fire Risk Assessors can be found here on the National Fire Chiefs Council website.

No matter who carries out your fire risk assessment, duty-holders retain responsibility for ensuring that the assessment fulfils the requirements of the law. If you have duties under Fire Safety law, you are not expected to be an expert in assessing and controlling fire safety risks, but even when employing a contractor to help with an assessment or additional safety measures, reasonable checks should be made to ensure that the contractor is competent to properly undertake the work.

There are some simple steps and precautions that can be taken to help verify the competence and suitability of a prospective contractor:

  • Be satisfied that the fire risk assessor who carries out the work is competent. This can be demonstrated by them providing evidence of compliance with the competency criteria set down by the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council.
  • Check that they have experience of working for your kind of business and premises.
  • Be clear about the scope of the work to be carried out, ensure that the assessor is provided with access to all areas of the premises and with relevant information.
  • Obtain alternative quotes – make sure they all cover the same scope, so you can draw a proper comparison.
  • Make sure that you provide the assessor with access to all areas and information.
  • It is advisable to request references from previous clients in similar premises types; ask them if they were satisfied and if any problems were later identified by the Fire and Rescue Authority.
  • It is advisable to ask for proof that they have sufficient professional indemnity insurance and to seek assurance that the contractor is impartial and has a complaint’s procedure.
  • Keep and maintain records of the steps you took in selecting your fire risk assessor.

Download a Fire Risk Assessment template for small businesses.

Further links to useful guidance for businesses

Legislative guidance

Fire risk assessment checklist

Guidance for evacuating disabled persons

Guidance for fire safety in small premises

Guidance for residential buildings under the Fire Safety Order

Guidance for non-domestic premises

Guidance for livestock premises

Guidance for workplaces where people sleep

Guidance for places of assembly

National Fire Chiefs Council - Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool

This interactive tool was developed to assist new and existing small business owners in the understanding of fire safety in the workplace, giving an alternative way of learning to that of reading guides. Although this tool discusses fire risk assessment and other fire legislation, it is not intended to be a training tool for fire risk assessment.

Click here to open the Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool in a new tab

Fire Doors Position Statement

Fire doors that separate living accommodation from circulation spaces and protect escape routes are critical to the fire strategy in flats. For this reason all fire doors must be maintained in a way that ensures smoke and heat from the fire remains in the compartment (flat)

where it started for a minimum period (normally 30 minutes). This should delay fire spread and allow safe escape and effective intervention by the Fire Service. They must not be replaced, modified, damaged or held open in any way that will negate their effectiveness.

Fire Rated doors to BS 476-22 or EN1634-1 should be installed as a “door set” (door and surrounding frame) and fitted with:

  • 3 fire rated hinges
  • Intumescent fire and cold smoke brush/ blade seals that effectively fill the door edge gap preventing smoke leakage
  • An effective fire rated positive action self-closing device (rising but hinges are not deemed suitable)
  • Glazing, if fitted, should be fire rated and correctly beaded with suitable materials to ensure the integrity of the door
  • Any door furniture such as handles, grills letterboxes or spyholes must also be fire rated

All flat entrance and escape route protection doors must have certification demonstrating they meet the required performance standard (normally 30 minutes) from both sides.

If the door is a plain “solid blank” type door, testing one side of the door is normally sufficient to ensure it meets the minimum requirements from both sides.

Door sets made from “other” or composite materials, with glazing and beading, which may compromise the integrity of the “door blank” must

be tested in a way that ensures the weaker side of the door (normally the modified side) meets the minimum requirement.

If the Fire Door fails its regular maintenance check and cannot be repaired effectively it must be replaced with a certified door set.

Gas Cylinders Position Statement

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service does not have any involvement or hold any responsibility for the disposal of empty/partially empty pressurised cylinders. This includes not just Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) but any other cylinders that hold gas or liquefied gasses under pressure.

We recognise the dangers that carelessly managed/disposed of cylinders pose to both the Community and Firefighters particularly if they become involved in fire so offer the following advice.

When a gas cylinder is empty or no longer required then the simplest and best way to dispose of it is return it to the supplier. Identify the owner and drop it at the local depot or request that it be collected. There is normally no charge for this.

To identify the owner, look at the label on the cylinder. If this is not obvious the name of the owner is usually permanently marked on the cylinder, for example stamped into the metal on the shoulder of the cylinder.

Gas cylinders are the property of the gas supplier. Contact details for suppliers are available on the information aid opposite.

Alternatively, call the Liquid Petroleum Gas Association on 08457626379 for advice or contact your Local Council and check if they accept gas cylinders at the recycling centre.

Short-Term Letting Accommodation Position Statement

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in line with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) consider the safety of paying guests at properties providing short-term letting accommodation a priority. People hosting at these properties must recognise that Fire Safety Regulations apply to all properties providing accommodation to paying guests. Those people guesting at short-term letting properties should expect a reasonable level of fire safety precautions to be in place. It they are not suitable and sufficient and are reported to our Service, responsible persons will be robustly challenged. (See link below for reporting a concern).

Safety Tips for Hosts Homes

  • Install smoke and heat detectors in accordance with the current revision of the British Standard for domestic fire detection and alarm systems (BS 5839 part 6). You may need to seek advice from a competent person or company.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer. Gas appliances should be tested annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If the property has wood or coal burning appliances the chimney should be swept a minimum of twice per year
  • Prevention is key, keep flammables away from sources of ignition. Toasters should not be positioned or installed under wall mounted units. Avoid the use of free standing heaters during rental
  • All electrical appliances should be correctly fused and regularly checked for condition. Any extension leads and sockets must not be overloaded or used unsuitably (e.g. ran under carpets and through door openings)
  • It is good practice to ensure all doors are closed as part of a bedtime routine. All guests should be encouraged to follow this good practice
  • Have an escape plan in place that is communicated to both your family and your guests

Further information is available by following this link the government's website, making your paying guest accommodation safe from fire.

If wish to register a concern about any short-term letting property in the Humber region that you have been a guest at follow this link to our contact page.

Stay Put Position Statement

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service works with Local Authorities, developers, managing agents, housing providers and tenants to ensure that Fire Safety Arrangements in high-rise accommodation and other flats are safe and appropriate.

Stay Put arrangements are based on the fire precautions installed during construction including compartmentation, protection of escape routes and discussion on emergency procedures put in place by the building managers.

In normal circumstances, if there is a fire contained within a single flat, the advice is that the occupiers of that flat evacuate closing doors behind them and leave via the stairs. They should call 999 as soon as they are in a place of relative safety.

The walls, floors, ceilings and doors of flats internally and externally if properly constructed and not modified in a way that reduces the fire protection should contain the fire within the compartment long enough to allow safe and effective intervention by the Fire Service.

If there is a fire in another part of the block it is usually safer to remain in your flat unless affected by heat and/or smoke from the fire.

You should still call the Fire Service for advice and to ensure they have been mobilised. You should prepare to evacuate. You should evacuate:

  • If the fire/smoke spreads
  • If you are advised by a Fire Service Control Operator
  • If you are advised by Fire Crews at the incident

This advice is given to allow building managers and tenants to develop an “initial safe escape plan”.

As incidents can and do change, the risk to occupiers is constantly being re-evaluated. You must be ready to react swiftly to changing advice.