BAFE issues detailed response to Parliament’s consultation on fire safety legislation

BAFE, the independent register of quality fire safety service providers, has now officially responded to the Government’s Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 consultation. BAFE agrees strongly with the scope of the current fire safety legislation, noting the only concern at present being the “degree/method for enforcement”, but it does enable a risk-based approach to fire safety”.

BAFE doesn’t believe that the Fire Safety Order provides a proportionate legislative approach to ensuring fire safety for businesses and enforcing authorities. BAFE comments that there’s “no mandated competence for fire safety providers, and especially for fire risk assessors who provide the key service around which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is based”.

With the current legislation, BAFE suggests that there’s “too little understanding of the role” for those in control of regulated premises “especially in multiple and mixed occupancy premises”. Within the guidance documents, while BAFE acknowledges there’s “guidance towards third party certificated competence, there’s little evidence of enforcement or requirement”. This is noted later in the fulsome BAFE response that third party certification should be the “key measure” of evidential competence.

In the general application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, BAFE takes the strong stance that the legislation doesn’t do enough to enforce competency requirements. BAFE doesn’t believe that the expectation that Responsible Persons self-evaluate whether they’re able to meet their duties under the Fire Safety Order, or require assistance is the right approach.

BAFE notes that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 doesn’t provide “clarity on the competence of providers, the requirements of the fire risk assessment and the competence of the responsible person. There should be oversight and competence requirements” [within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 itself].

While not noted in the consultation, BAFE believes that budgets should not continue to be cut for Fire and Rescue Services, but rather re-distributed within their business safety and investigation teams to bolster the promotion and enforcement of the legislation as the agency for this.

BAFE calls for “mandatory competence requirements for fire risk assessors based on third party certification” to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and notes that there’s “insufficient rigour to require updates [to the assessment] with change of use and regularity”. BAFE wishes to see third party certification requirements for the competent person (both the provider company and their staff), as at present the current requirements are “too vague and not enforceable”.

*The public consultation on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 closes on Wednesday 31 July 2019 at 11.45 pm. BAFE strongly encourage all interested professionals to respond to this (either as an individual or company) and express their views on the current legislation. Further information can be found on the website at:

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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