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  • Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises Consultation

On 28 November 2016 we launched a consultation to seek comment on a revised volume of practical fire safety guidance. The guidance aims to help those responsible for fire safety in premises such as pubs, offices, shops, entertainment venues and transport hubs meet their legal duties.

A series of sector specific guides for non-domestic premises is currently available on the Scottish Government FireLaw webpages.  These guides provide practical fire safety guidance for dutyholders to help meet their requirements under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 but are in need of review and revision.

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the usefulness and content of this, the first volume of revised and consolidated guidance, which is relevant for most existing businesses which do not offer sleeping accommodation, such as pubs, offices, shops, factories and entertainment venues, and which aims to help those responsible for fire safety in those premises meet their legal duties.  

The consultation is open to everyone, but in particular we would welcome the views of dutyholders, for whom this guidance has been written. 

  • Review of Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

The Regulatory Review Group is reviewing Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 in respect of fire safety in non-domestic premises, and associated material.  To assist with this review a questionnaire has now been compiled and comments and views are welcomed from all interested parties. The questionnaire can be accessed via the The Regulatory Review Group web page

  • January 2015 - restructuring of Firelaw webpages

Restructure changes made to FireLaw webpages. Legislation Overview document revised.

  • April 2014 - Amendment to Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

Amendment to Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

On 1 April 2014, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 was amended so that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)  became responsible for fire safety enforcement in respect of nuclear sites and installations where previously the responsibility sat with the Health and Safety Executive.

  • March 2014 – New Care Home Fire Safety Guidance in Scotland

Revised ‘Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Care Homes’ has been published.  The new guidance is issued by Scottish Ministers in terms of section 61(2) of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.  It supersedes the February 2008 version and has been substantially edited to make it more user-friendly, taking account of comments received during a public consultation exercise.

The guidance aims to assist those who have responsibility under the 2005 Act for ensuring fire safety in care homes in Scotland.  A copy of the associated Ministerial news release has been published on the Scottish Government website.

  • October 2013 - Changes to building regulation procedures

Changes to building regulation procedures

Many buildings are of a size and design that fire safety measures provided during construction are obvious and understandable.  However in some cases it can be difficult to fully establish by examination, what fire safety measures have been incorporated into a building or what assumptions have been made by the building designer.

Design and construction information and where necessary, drawings of the building layout with key fire safety measures must now be recorded as part of the building regulation process for building warrant applications from 1 October 2013.  When non–domestic buildings are constructed, converted  or extended, a fire safety design summary must now be provided with completion certificates. The design summary will be available to the owner or occupier of new premises and a copy will be held on part 2 of the local authority Building Standards Register.

Where available, the fire safety design summary will be a useful source of information to assist dutyholders with the safe operation of buildings.

Further information

A single fire and rescue service has been established in Scotland from 1 April 2013 – the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) - as a replacement to the previous eight services.

SFRS takes over the non-domestic fire safety enforcement role which previously sat with fire and rescue authorities, joint fire and rescue boards and the Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities.

This change involves SFRS being the enforcing authority for civil Crown premises, a new role for the fire and rescue service.

A change has also been introduced to the dispute determination (arbitration) procedure in section 67 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005. In cases where there is a technical dispute with the SFRS, the requirement for joint referral has been dropped.

The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (Relevant Premises) Regulations 2012, which can be found at Government Legislation website ("the 2012 Regulations") took effect on 29 November 2012. These regulations amend the definition of relevant premises in section 78 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 ("the 2005 Act"). The change affects premises used for child minding and also houses in multiple occupation. More information regarding these regulations can be found in Dear Chief Officer (Scotland) Letter 4/2012.

Following a public consultation on the application of fire safety law to certain premises types, the Scottish Government decided to draft guidance on how fire safety law may apply to certain types of premises where there was the potential for an inconsistent approach. The guidance document 'Guidance on the Application of Fire Safety Law in Scotland' has now been issued. It contains information in respect of the following: Sheltered Housing for Older People; School Care Accommodation; Provision of Support Service; Care Homes; Adult Placement Service; Sites for Caravans, Mobile Homes or Park Lodges; and Common areas of Private Dwellings.