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New service introduced to limit liability under Fire Safety Order

13 July 2020

LEADING FIRE safety lawyer Warren Spencer, who’s a regular guest on the fortnightly Fire Safety Matters Podcasts, has launched a new service drafting Terms and Conditions for practising fire safety professionals such that they can minimise their liability under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Across the last couple of years there has been an increase in the number of fire safety professionals being considered for prosecution and enforcement under the Fire Safety Order. Those businesses at risk could include any company supplying goods or services to the fire safety industry.

Blackhurst Budd Solicitors’ Spencer (pictured, right) explained to Fire Safety Matters: “Legal disclaimers can never disclaim criminal liability. However, it’s possible to clarify the exact nature of the fire safety professional’s involvement with the premises and, perhaps just as importantly, define that with which they are not involved.”

He continued: “I must stress that I’m not suggesting fire safety professionals should shirk their responsibilities or look to blame others, but in my own experience many of these professionals have inadvertently created liability for themselves under the Fire Safety Order because they failed to clarify their retainer or have acted outwith the remit of their contracted obligations and over-extended their control by providing additional advice or guidance for which they were never contracted.”

The new service included a review and re-drafting of the given organisation’s Terms and Conditions as well as Purchase Order forms in order to ensure they effectively outline both the extent of the Responsible Person and the fire safety professional’s control and obligation respectively.

James Aird, a member of the fire safety law team at Blackburst Budd Solicitors, added: “By having clear and comprehensive contractual documentation, fire safety professionals are not only limiting their potential liability under the Fire Safety Order, but they’re also creating transparency and ownership of their obligations with other Responsible Persons. In turn, the hop is that this will mean better co-operation and understanding as to what the requirements are under the Fire Safety Order between the two parties.”

*For more information on this service send an e-mail to: wps@blackhurstbudd.co.uk