Fire Safety Legislation

H&S Legislation and HSE Information

We reproduce the main sources of legal regulations and useful practical guides on fire safety good practice in the UK.

Acts of Parliament

Also known as ‘primary legislation’, Acts are passed by the House of Parliament. Acts lay down the general duties to be followed by individuals and organisations operating in the UK.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005 applies to England and Wales. It was a consolidating Statutory Instrument effective from April 2006, which replaced a number of previous Acts and brought the UK more into line with European legislation. Similar acts were passed in Northern Ireland and Scotland around the same time.

Fire and rescue Services Act (FRSA) 2004.

Environmental Protection Act(EPA) 1990.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA) is the primary legislation for health and safety in the UK. You can view what the HSE have published on the Act here.


Also known as ‘delegated legislation’, Regulations are issued under the name of the Secretary of State and they seek to add more detail on how the ACT should be applied to specific hazards or activities. Examples relevant to Health and Safety include:

  • Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations (SSSR) 1996. View the Regulations or HSE information.
  • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR) 2002. View the Regulations or HSE information.
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2002. View the Regulations or HSE information.
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. View the Regulations or HSE information.
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. View the Regulations or HSE information.

Government Codes of Practice

There are no general government codes of practice issued for fire safety.

The nearest equivalent official guide would be Approved Document B, which applies to the construction of new buildings.

  • Vol 1: Approved Document B (Dwelling houses)
  • Vol 2: Approved Document B (Buildings other than dwelling houses)

British Standards

Written as individual holistic guides that should be applied with mixing and matching, published British Standards' guides are often adopted to demonstrate compliance with the fire safety regulations. These document are not freely available and must be purchased from the BSI.

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