New fire regulations for businesses in England and Wales are to come into force from 1 October, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has said.
Originally due in April, the postponed reform of commercial fire and safety legislation is the biggest carried out in 30 years.
The new order will merge more than 70 different pieces of fire legislation into one.
It attempts to improve fire safety by placing the responsibility on the employer or "responsible person" for that building or premises. He or she will be required to assess the risks of fire and take steps to reduce it.
Restaurants, pubs, hotels and caterers have been warned they will be prosecuted, and may also find insurance companies withhold cover, if they do not.
By Chris Druce
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