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Last edited 20 Aug 2021
Fire (Scotland) Act 2005
The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (“the 2005 Act”) was passed on 23 February 2005. It is an Act of the Scottish Parliament to "make provision about fire and rescue authorities and joint fire and rescue boards; to restate and amend the law in relation to fire services; to make provision in relation to the functions of such authorities and boards in connection with certain events and situations other than fires; to make provision for implementing in part Council Directives 89/391/EEC, 89/654/EEC, 91/383/EEC, 94/33/EC, 98/24/EC and 99/92/EC; to make other provision in relation to fire safety in certain premises; and for connected purposes."
The 2005 Act is divided into five parts. Requirements on general fire safety are covered in Part 3 of the Act and supported by the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (“the 2006 Regulations”). This introduced a fire safety regime for Scotland which replaced previous fire safety legislation. It also provided detailed updates of fire related duties, including enforcement and penalties for the majority of non-domestic premises in Scotland.
- All workplaces and commercial premises.
- All premises with public.
- All types of houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
 Role of the duty holder
In Scotland, the duty holder is the counterpart to the ‘responsible person’ designation under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales. The duty holder could be the employer or any other person who has control to any extent over any part of the premises (such as the occupier or owner).
The duty holder must conduct a fire risk assessment of the premises that takes into consideration the safety of all 'relevant persons' in case of fire. Employees have a duty to cooperate with employers to ensure the safety of others from fire.
The 2006 Regulations were introduced as part of the fire safety regime. While the primary legislation (the 2005 Act) contains a broad brush approach to fire safety measures, the 2006 Regulations contain more detailed provisions. They impose fire safety duties on employers made under powers contained in Part 3 of the 2005 Act..
- Guidance on carrying out a fire safety risk assessment for people responsible for non-domestic premises and houses of multiple occupation (HMO).
- Fire safety guidance for existing non-residential premises (2017) for owners of premises including commercial, industrial, transport, educational, day care and places of entertainment and assembly.
- Fire safety guidance for existing premises with sleeping accommodation (2018) for employers and managers of premises which provide sleeping accommodation, including hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, camping and caravan sites and all types of houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
- Fire safety guidance for care homes (2014) for those who have responsibility for ensuring fire safety in care homes in Scotland.
- Practical guidance for the emergency evacuation of disabled people for those who have control of, or have safety obligations in respect to non-domestic premises, to ensure that arrangements are in place for an evacuation of the premises, if the situation requires it.
- Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 for those designing new buildings. Note that there is a new technical handbook, Building standards technical handbook 2020: non-domestic, which provides guidance on achieving these regulatory requirements.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building safety in Wales.
- Construction fire safety responsibility and competence matrix.
- Fire fatalities in Scotland.
- Fire Safety Bill.
- Interlinked fire alarm safety laws in Scotland.
- Responsible person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Risk assessment under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- The need for company fire risk assessments.
- Scottish Advice Note addresses fire risk in multi-storey residential buildings.
- Scottish building standards.
- Scottish planning and architecture documents.
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Gov.scot, Building standards technical handbook 2020: non-domestic.
- Gov.scot, Fire safety guidance: evacuating disabled people from buildings.
- Gov.scot, Fire safety guidance for care homes.
- Gov.scot, Fire safety guidance for existing premises with sleeping accommodation.
- Gov.scot, Fire safety risk assessment: forms and guidance.
- Gov.scot, Practical fire safety guidance for existing non-residential premises.
- Legislation.gov.uk, Fire Safety (Scotland) Act 2005.
- Legislation.gov.uk, Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
- Legislation.gov.uk, The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
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