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Fire Safety

Fire Risk Assessments and Responsible Person

Fire safety responsibility moves to the 'Responsible Person' from governing bodies

Responsible person

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 moves the emphasis of the management of fire safety away from enforcing bodies and onto the responsible person. Under the legislation, all employers, owners, landlords or occupiers of business or non-domestic premises are known as the ‘responsible person’ and are required, by law, to provide staff with information and training on fire safety. The order says that the responsible person must manage any fire risk at your premises.

A ‘responsible person’ is anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems and although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be times when a number of people have some responsibility.

For example, it could be:

The employer for those parts of premises staff may go to

The managing agent or owner for shared parts of premises or shared fire safety equipment such as fire-warning systems or sprinklers

The occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations if they have any control or

Any other person who has some control over a part of the premises

Fire risk assessment | The responsible person must make sure a fire risk assessment is completed by a competent personCompleting your fire risk assessment

If you are the responsible person, you must make sure a fire-risk assessment is completed by a competent person. Although in law, regardless of who has completed the assessment, you will still be responsible for meeting the order.

The fire risk assessment should:

  • Consider who may be especially at risk
  • Eliminate or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably possible and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risk
  • Take other measures to ensure protection is in place if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored
  • Create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, keep a record of your findings; and review your findings when necessary

Fire evacuation

Furthermore, a responsible person, must as far as is reasonably practical make sure that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape safely in the event of a fire.

If your premises have been designed and built in line with modern building regulations (and are being used in line with those regulations), your structural fire precautions should be acceptable. You will still need to carry out a fire-risk assessment and make sure that you keep up all fire precautions and maintenance routines.

Helping you manage your fire risks

Once the fire risks have been identified, the appropriate controls should be put in place to highlight and mitigate the risk to an acceptable level. This should be accompanied by information and training appropriate to the risks and the nature of the individual’s reason for being on your premise.  

Fire safety plan

The exact level and type of training which is required depends on the results of your fire risk assessment. Suitable fire plans may include analysis and fire evacuation procedures, supported by training. The plan should be recorded, tested and reviewed on a regular basis.

It is essential that all fire safety training is refreshed on a regular basis. Our fire training courses are certificated and the period of certification depends upon the course topic and syllabus.

Employers are required to ensure that all new employees undergo fire safety training, whereas existing employees undertake refresher training if any new fire risks are identified by a risk assessment.

HFR Solutions undertake fire risk assessments for various organisations - helping them to comply