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Library: Government Guides


England & Wales Guides :
   Animal Premises
   Education Premises
   Factories & Warehouses
   Healthcare Premises
   Large Assembly Places
   Offices & Shops
   Open-Air Events
   Residential Care
   Sleeping Accommodation
   Small/Medium Assembly
   Theatres & Cinemas
   Transport Premises
   Disabled: Means of Escape

Scotland Guides :
   Care Homes
   Educational/Day Care
   Factories & Warehouses
   Healthcare Premises
   Med/Lrg Assembly Places
   Offices, Shops, etc.
   Assembly Places
   Small B&B & Self-Catering
   Small Sleeping Accom’
   Transport Premises

Are You Aware of the Government’s Guidance and its Significance in Law?

The fire-safety Legislation in England, Wales, and Scotland places statutory responsibilities1 upon the enforcing authorities (typically the Fire & Rescue Service2). It requires them to enforce the legislation3 whilst having regard to such guidance as the Secretary of State (for England & Wales)4, or the Scottish Ministers may give”5.

The combined effect of these elements is to give significant statutory weight to the:

  • CLG’s Guidance for England & Wales, which “has been approved by Ministers and has official status”6; and
  • Scottish Government’s Guidance, which “constitute guidance given by the Scottish Ministers”7.
What are the Implications?

Whether for England & Wales, or for Scotland, these requirements mean that all responsible persons should ensure that they comply with the detailed guidance contained in the guides.

Your local fire officer is under a duty to consider the above guides in his statutory duty of enforcing the fire-safety Legislation.

Knock-On Implications re British Standards

The guides have the effect of giving significant statutory significance to British Standards too.

For example, the CLG Guidance for Offices and Shops says at Section 8, a section wholly devoted to quality assurance, that “Fire protection products and related services should be...properly installed and maintained in accordance with...the relevant British Standard”. Specific references to the various British Standards (e.g. BS 5306, BS 5839, BS 5266) are also made elsewhere in the guide.

Other governmental guides have similar text.

Public Availability of Guidance

For reference, we have provided links, correct at the time of writing, to the guides above. Please refer to the CLG (for England & Wales) or the Scottish Government (for Scotland) for further and current details.

Footnotes & References

  1. Article 26 of Part 3 of the Fire Safety Order; and Section 61 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
  2. As set out at Article 25 of Part 3 of the Fire Safety Order and Section 61, paragraph (9) and Section 6 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
  3. Article 26 of Part 3, paragraph (1) of the Fire Safety Order; and Section 61, paragraph (1) of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
  4. Article 26 of Part 3, paragraph (2) of the Fire Safety Order.
  5. Section 61, paragraph (2) of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
  6. .Inside front cover, CLG’s series of guides: “Fire Risk Assessment”.
  7. Chapter 3, Scottish Government’s series of guides: “Practical Fire Safety Guidance”. NB References and text may vary from guide to guide.

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