Fire safety law

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (opens in a new tab) covers general fire safety in England and Wales.

Responsible person

Fire Safety law in the UK applies to any place (though there are a few exceptions, including domestic premises). The law requires the ‘Responsible Person’ to ensure the safety of people in the event of fire.

The Responsible Person in a workplace is an employer. If it is not a workplace the ‘Responsible Person’ is the occupier or the building owner.

A ‘Responsible Person’ must ensure that a fire risk assessment has been completed and is kept up to date.

Please use a fire safety log book (docx) which will help you prove compliance with Fire Safety Regulations. It should be completed following the inspection, testing or maintenance of any of the Fire Safety provisions required by the Fire Safety law.

Who does this law apply to?

Everyone (…well almost)!

Where the Fire Safety Order applies, legal duties are imposed on any person who has at least some control over any activities which affect the premises.

In a workplace, an employer must comply with fire safety law. Employees also have a duty to ensure premises are fire safe, as do contractors or other people at work.

In other premises, including for example places of worship or the communal parts of an apartment building, the building owner, any managing agent and all occupiers have legal duties – in relation to activities which may impact on fire safety in the building.

Fire risk assessment guides

Offices and shops (opens in a new tab)

Factories and warehouses (opens in a new tab)

Sleeping accommodation (opens in a new tab)

residential care premises (opens in a new tab)

educational premises (opens in a new tab)

small and medium places of assembly - holding 300 people or less (opens in a new tab)

large places of assembly - holding more than 300 people (opens in a new tab)

theatres, cinemas and similar premises (opens in a new tab)

open air events and venues (opens in a new tab)

healthcare premises (opens in a new tab)

animal premises and stables (opens in a new tab)

transport premises and facilities (opens in a new tab)

More guidance

Fire safety in construction (opens in a new tab)

For landlords - fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats (opens in a new tab)

For landlords - Fire safety in housing (opens in a new tab)

What do I have to do?

If you are the responsible person for the premises you must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep people safe. You must keep written records if you employ 5 or more people.

Who can help me?

If you are the Responsible Person you may choose to complete your own fire risk assessment.

To comply with the law, any person appointed to undertake fire safety measures must be regarded as competent. This means that they must have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them to complete a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.

Can Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service help?

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) cannot complete your fire risk assessment. It is your legal responsibility.

GMFRS does however have a duty to promote fire safety and to provide advice on request.

If you feel like you would benefit from fire safety advice this can be arranged through our Contact Centre on 0800 555 815.

What if I don’t comply?

GMFRS can give you support and advice on how to improve your fire safety.

GMFRS also has a duty to enforce fire safety law. Where we are of the opinion that fire safety falls below the required standard, we may take enforcement action up to and including prosecution to ensure people are safe.

More information

Fire risk assessment

Escape routes

Fire alarms

Firefighting equipment

Maintenance and Records

Pre-planning for fire

Advice for landlords

False alarms

Enforcement Register

Business Fire Safety during Covid-19

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Fire safety law