More than 4,300 fires catch in buildings each year from 2016 – 2020, it is vital for owners to follow the safety rules. For that, the RRO is the best pick.
The RRO (aka fire safety order) 2005 is an act that is for all non-domestic buildings to ensure fire safety. Via this law, one can confirm protection in the event of a fire case.
In this guide, I’ll explain what does RRO stand for in fire safety, its importance, laws, and other details that you might want to know. Let’s begin!
The RRO stands for Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order 2005. It is a law that was introduced in October 2006 to change fire safety rules.
To simplify it, this is one of the orders which is being followed by all countries as an ideal fire safety law. But it applies only to non-domestic buildings.
The RRO replaces old fire safety laws like the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997. Its purpose is to make sure that buildings have good fire safety measures.
So, why is the RRO important? Well, it is essential as this order helps prevent mishaps and deaths caused by fires.
Through this, the person in charge of a building can control the fire situation better and help all escape from the fire safely. Here are a few reasons why the RRO is vital:
- React, Manage, and Organize: The RRO lets the person in charge act fast, handle the situation well, and arrange things to stop fire accidents.
- Find fire hazards and people at risk: The RRO helps classify things that cause fire hazards in the zone. Also, it allows the person in control to detect all folks that are in danger in the event of a fire.
- Evaluate, Remove, Reduce, and Protect: The RRO allows evaluating the danger level of the fire. Plus, it helps to remove or reduce the folks from risk to a safe spot. And this helps to help and protect people in a fire event.
After learning what RRO stands for, it’s time to know more about this act. Let me share the details of its law below:
This act is for places and facilities like offices, shops, daycare homes, hospitals, community halls, worship places, restaurants, schools, and so on. It also includes sports centers, marquees, hotels, hostels, and other spots.
Unlike these places, there are some areas where this RRO doesn’t apply. For example:
- Man-made drilling platforms
- Fields, woods, or lands (agricultural)
- Any kind of transports
Based on the RRO Act on Article 3 section, it states the meaning of a Responsible Person. It defines as:
- If it is a workplace to an extent where the employers have control of the place like the employer.
- If it is a building (not falling within the previous case) where the buildings aren’t under the employer’s control, then –
- The responsible person is the person who has control over the buildings (like the occupier) concerning trade or business, or other undertaking positions for profit.
- Or it can be the owner, where the person in control of the buildings doesn’t have control.
In short, the responsible person is either the employer, the person in control of the buildings, or the owner.
The RRO guidance offers a rule for a person in charge (responsible person). It is being done after the SOS (Secretary of State) makes a good guideline that includes aspects that a responsible person should consider to ensure safety in the building. Like:
- Duties on taking fire precautions.
- Taking fire risk assessment.
- Arrange and eliminate things that can cause risk to people.
- Discuss with workers and train them.
After getting the guidance from SoS, this needs to be accessible to the responsible person so that they can follow the duties of RRO.
Then, the CLG (Communities and Local Government) gives proper guidance to the responsible persons based on the building they are living in. For example,
- Office and shop guide.
- Small and medium places guide.
- Factories and warehouses guide.
- Education place guide.
- Healthcare place guide.
- Animal premises guide.
- Supplementary guide for disabled people.
However, in some cases, the Secretary of State can approve guides written by others and do changes where required. For example, the British Standards has adopted guidance from a 3rd party guide.
- A perfect scenario is when the area has more than 1 exit or escape route from all directions of the buildings (even if it’s quite impossible).
- Make one exit (if available) in the building’s fire resistance or add an automatic fire-detection system.
- Ensure the escape route is as loose and short as possible. If the route is only one, then be sure the travel distance is under 59 feet or 18 meters.
- If the buildings have a high chance of fire, then ensure the route distance is less than 39 feet or 12 meters. However, if the buildings have less chance of fire, then the gap in between can be longer, about 82 feet or 25 meters.
- In case the buildings contain more than one exit, then the distance should be 25 meters if the fire risk is high. Or else it can be around 60 meters.
- Stairs, corridors, or any areas near the fire exits need to be clear. Be certain that there are no obstacles or materials left which can catch fire.
- In all cases, the escape route should reach folks at the final exit and safe spot.
- Never open the high-risk rooms if they are near the fire-protected stairs.
- Use the fire alarm or detection devices to inform everyone about the fire.
- Do not use elevators unless they are safe.
Under this segment, let me share what a responsible person needs to ensure that is set out by RRO as main rules:
- Offer a proper meaning of escape, signs, notices, lighting, extinguishers, Fire Alarm Control Panels, and so on.
- Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment.
- Provide a policy and rules.
- Develop procedures for evacuation.
- Set up everything and give penalties if needed.
- Discuss with workers on fire safety topics.
- Train all about co-ordinate and fire safety.
The fire risk assessment is a process that involves checking the building to find fire hazards, taking proper measures to stop the fire, and ensuring fire protection measures are in place.
The Goals of the Fire Risk Assessment Are:
- To find the fire hazards
- To lessen the risks
- To ensure the safety of people by taking physical fire precautions and management.
A person in control needs to fill out the checklist of the fire risk assessment that contains 5 elements. Let me show you the 5 key steps below:
It is basically anything that starts the fire like electrical equipment, ignition sources, and so on. To start a fire, it basically requires 3 things: ignition, fuel, and oxygen. Taking steps to prevent these 3 elements in the place will lessen the chances of a fire occurring.
In the fire risk assessment, the person in control needs to identify the cause of the fire. Like −
1. Source of Ignition
Find the stuff or gear that can ignite or start a spark. For example, a smoker, lighter, electric, gas, or oil-fired heaters, boilers, cookers, TVs, or any other electrical stuff.
Warning: In the event of a fire, if you find electrical stuff making a spark, it’s best to turn them off or unplug them ASAP.
2. Source of Fuel
Anything that can burn is what the responsible person needs to identify. For instance, furniture, a piece of wood, cloth, tissue paper, curtain, bedding, fabric, waste storage, or any flammable stuff.
Warning: In a fire incident, always remove the flammable materials near the danger zone or spark as they can spread the fire.
3. Source of Oxygen
The oxygen in home buildings usually comes from the natural air, which is trapped inside the zone. And the air comes from a specific ventilation system like doors, windows, or vents.
Warning: Be sure to close the doors, windows, or vents in the event of a fire to prevent O2 from reaching the fire.
It is the next step that needs you as a responsible person to detect the people at risk in all cases. It can be visitors, people who work there, or caretakers. For that, consider who may be in danger. Like −
- People who are sleeping or slow to respond.
- Guests or visitors who don’t know the building’s area.
- Disabled people.
- People who get stuck or can’t leave the building due to some reasons. For example, parents with young kids.
- People who are senseless, like patients or children.
- People who work in the sole part of the building.
- Elderly people or newborns.
The third step is to remove or reduce people who are at risk of fire where it’s hard to reduce, like the kitchen area. To do so, you’ll need general fire precautions with any risk possible.
- Change portable heating appliances or electrical stuff.
- Check the electrical sockets and ensure they are properly inserted.
- Ensure to maintain electrical, mechanical, or gas gears that are installed.
- Be sure flammable items like furniture, laundry, clothes, and decorative stuff are stored rightly. Also, ensure they are far away from ignition sources like cookers, lighter, and so on.
- Properly store and dispose of the refuse. Also, confirm that the waste and bins in the kitchen area are cleaned daily.
Note: Ensure to take measures that lessen fire hazards with proper precautions in risky spots.
After that, you as the person in charge need to make a solid plan to deal with emergencies. Then, based on the plan, train all people and then keep a record to find the result.
For that, it requires a fire risk assessment with a written record that includes the actions you need to take after finding the gaps and details of people at risk. You should include in the written record the details of:
- The identified fire hazards.
- The preventive measures to remove the fire hazards (mention your action taken or which will be taken).
- List of people who are or may be at risk.
- The protective measure to lessen the risk (mention your action taken or which will be taken).
- The evacuation actions people need to take in the event of a fire.
- Mention identified details, instruction, and training that seems required and describes how it will be given.
Note: The best way to record, plan, and train your staff is to take a realistic fire evacuation drill.
Lastly, your fire risk assessment will need a daily review and checkup to keep it updated with recent changes where needed. And, if you are the responsible person, find some gap that requires taking measures, do so and solve the issue.
Note: You'll need to have a written record of fire risk assessment only if your business has 5 or more persons, a license, and alternative notice.
1. What is a fire risk assessment?
It is a written record that a responsible person needs to ensure fire safety. For that, it needs to identify fire hazards, people at risk, and other things to confirm the building is safe.
2. What is a fire safety certificate?
The FSC aka Fire Safety Certificate is an official document. It is given by the building owner if the area is fully safe according to fire safety rules.
3. What is a fire safety register?
It is a record or logbook that gives fire safety measures in a place at the buildings or halls. Thanks to this, you can confirm fire protection on the premises.
That’s what RRO stands for in fire safety! Every owner of a building needs to know this safety standard to ensure protection against fire. Be sure to follow it and review it daily to make good changes.
If you like this guide, then don’t miss the next guide as It’s about the NAC method in fire safety. Keep on Learning!