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NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management - FC1 E1

Element 1 - Managing Fire Safety

On completion of this element, you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the content through the application of knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar fire safety-related issues. 

Business Meeting

Element Overview

There are seven learning outcomes for this unit:

1.1 Outline the moral, legal and financial consequences of inadequate management of fire safety

1.2 Outline the legal framework for the regulation of fire safety in new, altered and existing buildings (including government guidance)

1.3 Describe the roles and powers of enforcement agencies and other external agencies in relation to fire safety

1.4 Outline the key features of a fire safety policy

1.5 Outline the main sources of external fire safety information and the principles of their application

1.6 Explain the purpose of, and the procedures for, investigating fires in the workplace

1.7 Explain the legal and organisational requirements for recording and reporting fire-related incidents.

  1. Fire Safety and the Law

It is the responsibility of building owners and management teams to ensure fire safety of any particular premises that employ workers and serves customers. The legal consequences of inadequate management of fire safety may mean the following:


  • Having to pay possible fines and penalties being brought about due to failure to comply with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 or other legal requirements.

  • Being served enforcement notices, alternation or prohibition notices that may mean the business must close until recommendations are complied with. 

  • If the responsible person or company is taken to court and convicted for breaches of the RRFSO, in the Magistrates court can apply a  fine not exceeding the statutory maximum of £20,000.

  • Where a  case is presented to a Crown Court on conviction, the company or responsible person could face an unlimited fine as well as up to two years in prison or a combination of both.

  2. Fire Safety Order 2005: Where does it apply? 

The order applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building,

structure and open space.


It applies to:

  • Offices and shops.

  • Premises that provide care, including care homes and hospitals.

  • Community halls, places of worship and other community premises.

  • Shared areas of properties several households live in.

  • Pubs, clubs and restaurants.

  • Schools and sports centres.

  • Tents and marquees.

  • Hotels and hostel.

  • Factories and warehouses.

  3. What must be carried out under the order?


The following should be carried out by a competent person:


  • Completion of a fire-risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks.

  • The identification of persons at risk including children and vulnerable people.

  • The elimination/reduction of risk from fire as far as is reasonably possible.

  • Provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risk left.

  • Implement control measures to ensure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored.

  • Put in place an emergency action plan to deal with any emergency as well as provide training. 

  • Review, update and modify your findings regularly.


   4. Sources of Fuel

Sources of fuel in the workplace may include:


  • Waste materials from production processes such as paper, wood, plastics, flammable

       liquids and gases.

  • Fixture and fittings including carpets and office furniture are another fuel source. 

  • Flammable liquids e.g. solvents and paints.

  • Electrical conduit e.g. PVC sheathing.

  • Fats and oils e.g as used in cooking. 

  • Control measures that can be used to minimise the risk of fire are regular disposal of waste materials, separation of materials from the source of ignition, good ventilation to stop the build-up of flammable gasses and dust alongside a scheme of regular servicing of electrical equipment and staff training.

  5. Fire Escape Routes

Main features of a fire escape route for a building to be suitable and sufficient include:


  • Fire doors wide enough to allow safe passage through e.g. 750mm for unto 50 persons, or 850mm for up to 110 persons however this maybe wider if vulnerable persons in wheelchairs are using it to allow for adequate turning space.

  • Fire doors should not narrow at any point as this may create a bottleneck or crush of persons attempting to escape.

  • Fire doors should be constructed from fire-resistant materials which will not collapse during the initial evacuation period, they should allow a minimum of 30 minutes of fire protection in order to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

  • Fire doors should be adequately lit with emergency lighting which is regularly inspected and tested. They should be well signposted, this may include the use of tactile signage for disabled persons with sight impairment.

  • Fire doors must lead to a place of safety and be of a sufficient number for the persons occupying the building i.e. one exit for up to 60 persons. 

  • Management controls should ensure fire doors are always kept free from obstructions. Alternative escape routes should be available and exits should be more than 45 degrees apart. 

Fire Hose
fire sprinkler
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