Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

In general, the legislation seeks to ensure the safety, in the event of fire, of persons (whether they are employees, residents, visitors or others) by setting out the rights and responsibilities of persons in respect of fire safety.

Basically anyone who has control to any extent of the premises will have some responsibilities for ensuring that those occupying the premises are safe from harm caused by fire.

Duties imposed by the legislation fall into seven general categories:

  • Carrying out a fire safety risk assessment of the premises;
  • Identifying the fire safety measures necessary as a result of the fire safety risk assessment outcome;
  • Implementing these fire safety measures using risk reduction principles;
  • Putting in place fire safety arrangements for the ongoing control and review of the fire safety measures;
  • Complying additionally with the specific requirements of the fire safety regulations;
  • Keeping the fire safety risk assessment and outcome under review; and
  • Record keeping.

  • A management commitment to fire safety is essential to assist with achieving suitable fire safety standards in premises and to maintain a business culture of fire safety.
    There should be a clearly defined fire safety policy to protect all those using the premises - such as residents, staff and visitors - which should include arrangements for planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of fire safety measures.
    It is a management responsibility to have in place both an emergency fire action plan and arrangements to implement the plan. A written emergency fire action plan should be kept on the premises, be available to and known by staff and form the basis of the training and instruction which is provided. This plan should be available for inspection by the enforcing authority.

    The purpose of the emergency fire action plan is:

  • To ensure that the people on the premises know what to do if there is a fire and
  • To ensure that appropriate action is taken in the event of fire and that the premises can be safely evacuated

  • The results of the fire safety risk assessment(s) must be considered when drawing up the emergency fire action plan, alongside procedures for all those occupying the premises, including disabled people.
    In care and institutional premises, the capability and dependency of occupants is paramount when determining suitable procedures, actions and fire safety measures to meet their personal evacuation needs.
    In other premises, the requirements of any disabled staff member or disabled person who frequently uses the premises should be discussed with the individual. A personal emergency egress plan (PEEP) for each of these people should be established and should contain details of special evacuation arrangements.
    The evacuation of all persons, including disabled persons, from the premises is the responsibility of those persons with control of the premises.
    It cannot be delegated to the Fire and Rescue Service. Appropriate arrangements should be made to ensure that the premises can be fully evacuated if necessary. It is not appropriate to move disabled persons to internal holding points for evacuation by the Fire and Rescue Service. It is essential that staff know what they have to do to safeguard themselves and others on the premises and to have an awareness of the importance of their actions. This includes risk reduction, maintenance of fire safety measures and action if there is a fire.
    All staff (including temporary and agency staff) should be given information, training and instruction on the fire safety measures to be taken or observed on the premises, including the action to be taken in case of fire. Where appropriate, staff should receive training on physically assisting people during an evacuation and should know how to use any aids or equipment provided for this purpose.
    All training should complement the emergency fire action plan, be verifiable and be evidenced by management records.

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