Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

From the 1st October 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force.  This applies to nearly every type of building and structure.

For example, it applies to:

  • offices and shops.

  • care providers (including care homes and hospitals).

  • community halls, places of worship and other community premises.

  • the shared areas of properties several households live in (housing laws may also apply).

  • pubs, clubs and restaurants.

  • schools and sports centres.

  • tents and marquees.

  • hotels and hostels.

  • factories and warehouses.


It does not apply to:

  • people's private homes.


Introduction to the order

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the biggest single reform of fire safety laws in over 30 years.  It simplifies the law for businesses and places a greater focus on prevention.

The law, which came into force on 1st October 2006, consolidates existing fire safety laws which were scattered across more than 70 pieces of legislation.

It also places the responsibility for fire safety on the employer or 'responsible person' for that building or premises. Under the Fire Safety legislation the ‘responsible person’ for each premises must carry out an assessment of the risks (risk assessment) of fire and take steps to reduce or remove the risk. 

The risk assessment must consider the effect of a fire on anyone in or around your premises. This will need to be kept under regular review.

A series of 12 guidance documents (dealing with specific types of premises) and a guide containing details about means of escape for disabled people are available from the Department for Communities and Local Government Publications, for purchase in hard copy format at a price of £12.

Alternatively, the documents are also available for download at the Gov.UK Website.  These guides provide detailed information on risk assessments and other issues for different types of premises.  A "short guide to making your premises safe from fire" is also available to download providing simple and practical advice to people responsible for fire safety in small and medium sized businesses and can be downloaded in English, Welsh, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu and Gujarati.

What are the main rules under the order?

You must:

  • carry out a fire risk assessment to identify dangers and risks;

  • consider who may be at risk;

  • get rid of or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably practicable and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risk left;

  • take other measures to make sure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored;

  • create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, keep a record of your findings;

  • review your findings when necessary.

Fire Risk Assessments


You may feel that a professional fire risk assessor is needed to undertake your assessment  and to record the required information, we have provided a link to this nationally recognised guide to help  you to identify a fire risk assessor with the appropriate skills and competencies to help you.

The links below provide more advice and information to help you meet the legislation requirements. 

Risk Assessment Tool

Fire Precautions Logbook  

Making your Premises
Safe from Fire

  Fire Risk Assessment for Use at Small to Medium Open Air Events

Fire Risk Assessment for Small Premises

Guide for Reviewing Your Fire Risk Assessment

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

Advice Leaflet for Businesses with Sleeping Accommodation Above 


Occupancy Figures Calculation



Making your premises safe

This booklet provides simple and practical advice to people responsible for fire safety in small and medium-sized businesses in several languages.

It provides guidance on how to make sure that you are meeting The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

It is not a detailed guide, and it does not replace any of our more wide-ranging guides.  To download your copy, please select  from the list below.

If you feel that you need more information, please contact your local Fire Safety office.