Many fire safety legislations have come into practice in recent decades and have reduced injury, death and calamity. Fire Precautions Act 1971 was the first exclusively fire devoted act and this was the result of the Report of the Holroyd Committee in 1970 which recommended that the law pertaining to fire safety should come under two branches: one that would apply to new and altered premises and other, to apply exclusively to premises that were already occupied. Committee found it so important that fire safety regulations should branch out to become more effective and understood by people, and this was necessary looking at the risk involved. In july 2002, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister issued a Consolidation paper for further reforms on fire fighting legislation and amending wherever necessary, with a view to make it more understandable and less intimidating. New legislations are proposed to be introduced, dropping the certification which was made compulsory under the Fire Precautions Act 1971. Next major piece of regulation was The Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 to be followed by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and this Report tries to map the differences and similarities between them.
"Houses occupied as single private dwellings are exempt, but the fire authority has powers to make it compulsory for some dwellings to be covered by a fire certificate" http://www.healthandsafety.co.uk/firep.htm
Premises that require a fire certificate were many and for those premises, obtaining a certificate became mandatory.
"The use of certain types of premises has been designated by the Secretary of State as requiring a fire certificate under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (in Northern Ireland under the Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 as amended). There are two designating orders in force in Great Britain - one relates to larger hotels and boarding houses; the other to those factories, offices, shops and railway premises in which people are employed to work" http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.aspid=1124874
Mainly these applied to non-domestic premises and the intention was reducing death and injury and damage. Provisions for reasonable means of escape, inspection were made and officers are entitled to take action to enforce the act. This was further fortified by Building Regulation Act of 1991 that limited internal fire spread including furniture and fittings by more regulations while considerable facilities for fire service was given including rules on fire warning and emergency lighting. Offices, shops, factories were covered according to number of workers. Guidance about storage of flammable materials, means for fighting fire, warning, training of employees, licensed premises, standards of fire precautions, inspection procedures, methods and types of inspection, escape related precautions, notifications of proposed changes were meticulously guided with extensive provisions. Some premises were exempted from fire certificate requirement and standards of exempted premises like factories and offices with only ground floor/basement/first floor power, not using explosive materials etc. had to be