Safer Communities Directorate
Safer Communities Division
Fire and Rescue Unit
Head of Unit
Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises
This letter invites your views on new revised Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises. This guidance aims to help those responsible for fire safety in premises such as offices, shops, nurseries and entertainment venues meet their legal duties.
The guidance is relevant for most businesses which do not offer sleeping accommodation, and will replace the series of sector specific guides for non-domestic premises that are currently available on the Scottish Government FireLaw webpages. These guides provide practical fire safety guidance for dutyholders to help them meet their requirements under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and are in need of review and revision.
This new volume of revised guidance covers existing non-residential premises without sleeping accommodation, such as offices, shops and entertainment venues. It consolidates and and will supersede the following existing guides:
- Practical Fire safety Guidance for Educational and Day Care for Children Premises: February 2008
- Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Places of Entertainment and Assembly: December 2007
- Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Factories and Storage Premises: February 2008
- Practical Fire safety Guidance for Offices, Shops and Similar Premises: February 2008
- Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Transport Premises: February 2008
These five guides contain a substantial amount of duplication and we believe that reducing the number of guides will make them easier to use for duty holders and enforcers, and provide greater clarity on the relevant guide for a particular premises.
The new guidance contains a number of editorial changes to the existing 5 guides, and contains improvements to text to aid understanding of content and greater use of explanations. Other changes include the removal of technical annexes and the incorporation of the content into the chapters so that subject information sits together, and a refinement of the risk assessment process to be more closely aligned to the legislation.
The new guidance does not seek to impose new standards, nor is it intended to impose more onerous benchmarks: the requirements are set out in the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the guidance is designed to assist duty holders in meeting them.
This is the first of two volumes of guidance which will be consulted on. A second volume, covering premises which provide sleeping accommodation will be developed following this consultation. The comments received from you will inform the development of the second volume, which we will also consult on in due course.
An Equality Impact Assessment and a Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment are also available, and we would welcome any comments you may have on each of these documents, as well as on the guidance.
We appreciate many businesses will be busy over the Christmas and New Year period, and therefore have extended the consultation period by an extra 2 weeks, from the standard 12 to 14 weeks, to provide them with more time to consider the draft guidance and respond.
Head of Fire and Rescue Unit
Safer Communities Division