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Housing: Fire Prevention

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will review the fire safety provisions and regulations relating to (a) multi-storey hostel, (b) student and (c) key worker housing for the purpose of making further fire safety provisions; and if he will require the owners of such accommodation to conduct their own fire safety checks. (305565)

[holding answer 9 December 2009]: The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into effect in October 2006. In March 2009, my Department published an initial evaluation of the effectiveness of the order which indicated the legislation was bedding in well. We therefore have no plans, at present, to review it.

The Fire Safety order places the responsibility for fire safety in all non-domestic premises, including hostels and halls of residence, in England and Wales, with a ‘responsible person’ for the premises—usually the employer, owner or occupier. It requires the responsible person for the premises to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and to put in place appropriate fire safety measures to adequately protect lives in the event of a fire.

In other types of multi-occupied residential premises, including blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation, the order applies to the common parts of the premises, rather than the individual domestic units themselves. In these premises, the ‘responsible person’ is likely to be the landlord.