Whose responsibility is fire safety?

In a commercial or non-domestic property, there must always be someone who is considered the ‘responsible person’. It’s this person’s duty of care to ensure the premises and the people within it are safe at all times and all current standards are adhered to, as set out in The Fire Safety Order.

You could be considered the ‘responsible person’, if:

  • You’re an employer
  • You’re the owner
  • You’re the landlord
  • You’re the occupier
  • You are in control of the building (building manager, facilities manager, risk assessor, managing agent etc.)

There are other instances where you may be considered the ‘responsible person’ of the premises, but these are a few of the most common ones.

What are the responsibilities?

The first port of call is to carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly. Staff and representatives must be notified of any risks or hazards that have been identified and steps put in place to prevent them with appropriate fire safety measures.

You must have a plan in place for emergencies, including an evacuation plan that takes into account everyone who might be in the building. It’s especially important that you include people who could be considered “at risk”, such as disabled people, those who work in isolation, the elderly or children.

Finally, you must provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training to ensure employees are well aware of what to do to prevent fires and how to act in an emergency.

What are the consequences?

Should a fire occur on the premises there would likely be an investigation, should the results find that the building wasn’t up to standard the ‘responsible person’ could face severe penalties. A steep fine is highly likely, but the worst case scenario would be time in prison. Failure to meet standards is a serious offence and can cause a significant risk to life.

How Walker Fire can help

It’s a heavy burden being the ‘responsible person’ and a duty you should never take lightly. Walker Fire can help to ensure you meet standards by carrying out a comprehensive and thorough fire risk assessment and providing detailed recommendations on how to improve the safety of the premises, as well as regular maintenance. We can also supply high-quality products and training courses to ensure your staff have the necessary knowledge.

Call us on 0800 731 3630 or email uk@walkerfire.com to arrange a free site survey and receive a no-obligation quote for your business’s premises.

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