CFOA backs responsible person’s guidance as campaign gathers pace

Fire chiefs have backed a campaign to provide clearer guidance to help building managers meet their duties under fire safety legislation.

The Make Britain’s Buildings Safe campaign has been launched following a cross-industry initiative, which called for clearer guidance for building managers and better compliance of existing building regulations.

Jonathan Herrick, lead of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association regulators’ guidance group, said: “This can help with our work for all fire brigades, a generic guide which can support fire safety at all levels. We are happy to support this initiative because it is so important.”

The campaign is due to be presented in the new year to the recently formed Fire Sector Partnership to consider how to take the initiative forward. One outcome may be the publication of voluntary guidance for the responsible person, which could be developed into a code of practice for managing the fire safety of buildings in the longer term.

The campaign is led by Exova Warringtonfire in collaboration with a group of cross-industry organisations and a number of MPs.

Jonathan O’Neill, managing director of the Fire Protection Association, said: “Our call to the industry is for consistency – we want clear guidance available across the board especially for the average building owner or landlord who is expected to make important decisions about fire risk assessment.”

Chris Hughes, certification manager Exova Warringtonfire, said: “We believe this activity has identified gaps in the information being provided under the terms of the [Fire Safety] Order and we believe it is worth providing a document which can help the responsible person, and ultimately the whole chain of responsibility.”
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