The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 was designed to replace all previous pieces of legislation regarding fire safety, streamlining the requirements within England and Wales. It is recommended that employers and other responsible persons such as housing associations, schools, hospitals, and landlords familiarise themselves with the legislation so that they understand the requirements.
For any business or public building such as shops, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, offices, churches, and even bus and train stations, a fire risk assessment is required. This list of buildings is not exhaustive, of course, but as a rule, all non-domestic properties need to have a fire risk assessment in place.
The reason is that a fire risk assessment is required is because it is stipulated in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (this applies to England and Wales).
The legislation states that a fire risk assessment must be carried out, but it also lists a whole range of other requirements such as: who can do a fire risk assessment, who is responsible in the event of a fire, procedures for serious and imminent danger and for danger areas, what provision of information should be given to employees, as well as how the Order is enforced. It is important to understand that failure to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 could result in prosecution resulting in fines that could be tens of thousands of pounds, depending on the number of breaches. In some cases, guilty parties end up with a prison sentence.
After your initial Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out, there is no fixed period for reviewing your assessment it is necessary whenever there are any significant changes which could affect the fire risk, including changes to the building, staff, occupancy, activities, legislation etc.
Additionally, it has become standard best practice to review the Fire Risk Assessment on an annual basis. This helps to ensure that you are still compliant with any changes in legislation.