Advice for businesses

Fire Safety Advice for Businesses

Advice and how to comply with the law

On this page

  • How to comply with the law
  • The Environment and Safety Information Act 1988
  • Business advice in the event of industrial action
  • Fire Safety Act 2021 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to enforcing the fire safety legislation that we are responsible for in a fair, transparent, and proportional manner. Wherever possible, we aim to provide assistance and guidance to achieve compliance with the legislation and only resort to formal action or prosecution in the most serious cases or where repeated failures have occurred.

Fire Protection policy statement on the discharge of duties (pdf format 90 Kb)

For fire safety advice specific to your business, please contact us.

How to comply with the law

The responsibility for ensuring compliance with legislation generally lies with the responsible person, usually the employer or in some cases the owner. For further details responsible person

The responsible person is required to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. For further details see risk assessment.

For further information on completing your fire risk assessment, download fire safety advice for business premises from the Communities and Local Government website.

Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool

As a new manager of a small business, the fire safety law for the workplace can seem quite daunting. The Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool has been designed to give a fun and interactive experience and at the same time give a general overview of your responsibilities following a fire risk assessment on your premises.

As you work your way around your workplace collecting the identified issues and making it safer, you will be tested on your general fire safety knowledge.

The Environment and Safety Information Act 1988

This act requires Fire and Rescue Services and local authorities to maintain a register of information concerning the issue of prohibition, alteration, and enforcement notices which must be open to inspection by the public free of charge.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service fulfills this statutory duty by inserting notices issued under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 into the National Fire Chiefs Council enforcement register. This register can be found online. The Enforcement Register has been moved to a new location. At present, historic records have not yet been moved to the new Register.

Business advice in the event of industrial action

Fire safety advice for businesses (pdf format 207 Kb)

Fire Safety Act 2021 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

Fire Safety Act 2021

The Fire Safety Act 2021 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021 and commenced on 16 May 2022. The Act amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Fire Safety Order).

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomes the commencement of the Fire Safety Act in England and Wales and the Regulations in England as important steps forward in strengthening the Fire Safety Order and improving fire safety.

The Act clarifies that responsible persons for multi-occupied residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building including cladding, balconies, and windows, and entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts.

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (the Regulations) have been introduced as an important step towards implementing the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report. The Regulations are being introduced under Article 24 of the Fire Safety Order and will come into force on 23 January 2023.

The Regulations apply to England only. The Regulations can be found on the UK Government website.

These new regulations introduce additional requirements on responsible persons aimed at identifying and communicating fire risk information to those who need to know about the risk. This includes providing residents with fire risk information regarding evacuation procedures in a format they will understand.

There is also a new requirement for the responsible persons to electronically provide the Fire and Rescue Service with up-to-date risk information that will assist them in both planning and responding to an operational incident. This includes providing floor plans, information on external wall construction (when appropriate), and defective critical equipment such as fire lifts (if they are likely to be defective for more than 24 hours).

To facilitate this new requirement, we ask responsible persons to use the forms below to provide this critical information.

Floor plans and building plan

Regulation 6 of the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 requires Responsible Persons (RPs) of high-rise residential buildings in England to share up-to-date plans of the building with the fire and rescue service. The plans will be used by operational firefighters during an incident and need to be clear, simple, and easy to use.

Storage of hard copies

The responsible person is also required to provide a copy of the plans inside the premises’ secure information box. The plans should be sized to fit on A3 paper and where necessary printed in colour to assist in easy identification of the plan symbols.

To ensure a copy of the plans can remain with the incident commander at all times as well as be used by firefighters inside the building, at least two copies of each plan should be provided inside the secure information box. Recognizing how the plans will be used and the conditions they may be exposed to, plans should be laminated to ensure they remain usable throughout the course of an incident.

Floor plans

Floor plans must show the location of specific equipment as defined by the Regulations. The plans must clearly identify and distinguish between the following:

  • Passenger lifts
  • Lift for use by firefighters
  • Evacuation lifts
  • Inlets/outlets for dry-rising mains
  • Inlets/outlets for wet-rising mains
  • Smoke control systems
  • Suppression systems

A plan will need to be prepared for each floor; where floors are identical it is permissible to prepare a single plan providing the floors to which the plans refer to are clearly indicated. However, it is preferred that each floor has a separate plan regardless of layout so that the individual flat numbers can be easily identified on each floor.

Building plan

A separate single-page plan must be provided which shows the building and its immediate surroundings. The building plan will enable firefighters to orientate themselves upon arrival and must provide information on access and key firefighting both inside and outside the building.

The full list of information to be provided on the building plan is defined in the Regulations and includes all of the following:

  • the environs of the building;
  • details of the use of the building for example for commercial or residential purposes;
  • access for fire and rescue appliances;
  • the dimensions of the building;
  • information on the number of storeys of the building and the number of basement levels (if any);
  • information regarding the presence of maisonettes or scissor-section flats;
  • inlets for dry-rising mains;
  • inlets for wet-rising mains;
  • the location of shut-off controls for any sprinklers;
  • access points for the building;
  • the location of the secure information box;
  • access points for the building;
  • the location of the secure information box;
  • the location of the controls for any smoke control system;
  • the location of any firefighting shaft;
  • the location of the main stairways in the building;
  • the location of the controls for any evacuation alert system.