Attended talk yesterday given by Dai Roberts of North Wales Fire and Rescue service. About new fire regulations coming in on 1 October 2006.
Main point made was for any employer, it is their risk and they must manage it. Fire service will no longer give certificates or specific advice. The minimum requirement is to have completed a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and to have plans in place to address any significant findings.
The new regulations apply to nearly every type of building except domestic premises. In early days the priority will be 'high life risk' premises, which include pubs, hotels, community centres, hostels.
Fire services will audit risk assessments and premises. The is a concordat that requires them to act in a fair way. In practice this means they will give 5 weeks notice of an audit, unless they have reason to believe there is a problem (e.g. if there has been a fire or specific complaint).
Fire services will be responsible for fire safety of premises. HSE will maintain responsibility for process (i.e. the activities at the premises).