Building Control - Building Regulations (Technical)

Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) 2005

The Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) 2005 legislation, details the obligations of the ‘responsible person’ to ensure that all fire safety risk assessments are conducted if alterations are made to a building that has multiple occupants.

In all properties other than private dwellings it is necessary for a ‘responsible person’ to conduct a fire safety risk assessment and to maintain fire precautions. They will then be required to keep the fire assessment under review and provide information and training to employees.

The responsible person will usually be the employer. However, in a residential or commercial building with common parts it would be a landlord. A person with obligations for maintenance or health and safety will also be a responsible person. So in multi-let buildings there is likely to be more than one responsible person and the owner, tenants and managing agents will have to co-operate.

Enforcement

The fire authority will usually be the enforcing authority, and they will carry out spot checks on premises. They have powers under the Regulations to issue three types of notices:

  1. an alterations notice stating that the premises would constitute a serious hazard if any change were made;
  2. an enforcement notice stating the responsible person has failed to comply with the regulations and requiring steps to be taken to remedy failures within a specified period;
  3. a prohibition notice directing that the risk is so serious that use of the premises should be prohibited or restricted until the matters specified have been rectified.

The onus is on the responsible person to prove that he or she did everything reasonable to comply. Penalties range from a fine of up to £5,000 in the magistrates court to an unlimited fine and up to two years’ imprisonment.

The Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) 2005 Legislation & the Impact on Works Controlled under the Building Regulations

It is a Building Regulation requirement that any alterations to an existing building must not make the fire safety provisions any worse than before. However, the new Regulatory (Fire Safety) Regulations go much further than this. The fire safety provisions in existing building must be formally assessed by the responsible person to determine their adequacy, and alterations will need to be carried out if deemed necessary. it will not be a defence to argue that the situation has not been made worse.

It is a Building Regulation requirement that any alterations to an existing building must not make the fire safety provisions any worse than before. However, the new Regulatory (Fire Safety) Regulations go much further than this. The fire safety provisions in existing building must be formally assessed by the responsible person to determine their adequacy, and alterations will need to be carried out if deemed necessary. it will not be a defence to argue that the situation has not been made worse.

For further information please visit the web pages of the Council's Business Fire Safety Section, or to view the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) 2005 legislation, please click here.