A new campaign is gathering pace in the construction sector as it calls for changes to be made to enable consistency in guidance for landlords and building owners in making their buildings safe. As fire safety specialists, Exova Warringtonfire is fully behind the ‘ Making Britain’s Buildings Safe ’ campaign which the business is coordinating alongside a group of industry leading organisations and MPs.
The ultimate aim is to make it easier for landlords or building owners who are under increasing pressure to ensure their buildings are safe.
Guidance for the responsible person is vital, say campaigners
The members of the campaign are calling for voluntary guidance for the ‘responsible person’ to be introduced, which can help them meet the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Under the Order, the ‘responsible person’ – that is the employer, person who has control of the premises or owner – must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain preventive and protective fire safety measures.
The responsible person must ‘make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed’ for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions they need to take.
Feedback from industry is that people seem to find the current legislation difficult to fully understand which is reflected in the number of prosecutions brought against those responsible and not acting within the regulations.
This has identified gaps in the information being provided under the terms of the legislation and the aim is to provide a document which is simple to understand for the responsible person, and ultimately the whole chain of responsibility.
It would include information about the key stages of design for new build, products, risk assessment, installation, management, inspection, maintenance and audit and how to seek professional advice at each stage.
The cross-industry group has agreed to explore ways of further developing voluntary guidance for the responsible person which could be developed as a form of building management guidance for the longer term.
The issue is now being raised with the all-party parliamentary fire safety group and the Fire Sector Partnership.
You can find out more information by visiting here and the group welcomes any feedback from those affected.
Chris Hughes, Certification Manager Exova Warringtonfire