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Who is the “Responsible Person” for Fire Safety?

The Responsible Person is a crucial figure in ensuring fire safety within a premises. They take on various responsibilities and duties to prevent fires from happening and to minimise injury or death in case a fire does occur.

Who is a Responsible Person?

The person responsible for making sure that: relevant fire safety duties are carried out. Any action is taken to stop fires from happening. injury or death is prevented if a fire does happen

In the context of fire safety, the Responsible Person is the individual who is responsible for ensuring that all relevant fire safety duties are carried out. They are accountable for taking any necessary actions to prevent fires from happening and for implementing measures to protect people from injury or death if a fire does occur. They can also acquire the services of fire safety specialist to manage their fire safety. This role is critical in any commercial premises as it helps to keep the building’s users safe.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the primary legislation that governs fire safety in commercial premises. It sets out clear rules and responsibilities for workplaces and commercial buildings. According to Article 3 of the Order, the responsible person is defined as the employer if the workplace is under their control. However, if the premises are not a workplace, the responsible person is the occupier, managing company or owner of the premises.

Every commercial premises is required to have a designated responsible person for fire safety. This individual is responsible for providing and maintaining satisfactory fire precautions. They must ensure that proper precautions and preventive measures are in place to prevent fires and to protect the lives and property of those within the premises, they can purchase services from fire safety specialists to assist them in managing their fire safety. 

The role of the responsible person is a significant one, as fire can cause devastating loss of life and property. Therefore, preventing fire is an essential aspect of health and safety management in any setting. The responsible person can also seek assistance from specialists like Help and Safety At Work to help them manage their fire safety responsibilities effectively.

In conclusion, the responsible person plays a critical role in fire safety within a premises. They shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that relevant fire safety duties are carried out, taking action to prevent fires, and minimising injury or death in case a fire does occur. Their role is defined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which requires them to provide and maintain satisfactory fire precautions. So, if you are a responsible person, make sure to prioritise fire safety and seek expert assistance if needed.

What is the role of a Responsible Person?


Fire Risk Assessment

  • The role of a responsible person is crucial when it comes to ensuring fire safety in a building. This individual, or an appointed specialist, is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate the risks to which relevant persons are exposed and to determine the adequacy of existing precautions. It also identifies any need for additional measures or equipment to mitigate these risks.
  • The responsible person must ensure that the building is equipped with appropriate firefighting equipment, fire alarm systems, and evacuation plans. These measures are essential for detecting and responding to fires promptly. Additionally, it is their responsibility to ensure that all occupants of the building can evacuate safely in the event of a fire.

Informing Occupants

  • When it comes to fire safety awareness, the responsible person must ensure that all staff members are well-informed and prepared for emergencies. This includes providing appropriate signage and fire warden training to keep staff updated on when and how to raise the alarm. Staff members should also be aware of the location of life-saving fire safety equipment. To assess their understanding and preparedness, regular training sessions and evacuation drills should be conducted. These drills ensure that staff members know how to exit the building safely by following fire exit signs and gathering at the designated fire assembly point. Appointed fire marshals or wardens can oversee these drills and ensure their effectiveness.
  • Enforcing fire safety legislation is yet another responsibility of the responsible person. In addition to fire safety awareness, they are liable for the regular maintenance and inspection of fire extinguishers and other protective equipment. Weekly visual inspections of fire extinguishers, testing of fire alarm systems, and checks of all escape routes are necessary to ensure that the necessary precautions are in place. Annually, fire alarm inspections by an engineer and fire extinguisher servicing by a trained technician should be carried out to maintain the effectiveness of these systems.
  • The responsible person must provide residents with fire safety information and instructions in a conspicuous part of the building. This information should include the evacuation strategy for the building, how to report a fire, and other guidance on the actions to take once a fire has occurred. These instructions should be re-issued to all tenants annually and provided to new tenants as soon as reasonably possible.

Fire Doors

  • Residents should also be informed about the proper use of fire doors. They should be reminded to keep fire doors closed when not in use and should not tamper with self-closing devices on these doors. Additionally, any faults or damages to fire doors should be reported immediately to the responsible person.
  • For residential buildings over 11 meters in height, the responsible person must conduct annual inspections of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of fire doors in common areas. These checks should include ensuring that the doors are self-closing correctly and are not damaged. Defects should be rectified promptly.

High Rise Buildings

  • In high-rise buildings over 18 meters or 7 storeys, the responsible person has additional responsibilities. They must provide electronic floor plans to Fire and Rescue Services, identifying all lifts and key firefighting equipment. A secure information box on-site should contain a hard copy of these plans and the contact information of the responsible person. Information about the design, materials, and any known defects of external wall systems must also be provided to Fire and Rescue Services, along with updates on any material changes to these walls.
  • Regular checks on lifts, evacuation systems, and other firefighting equipment must be carried out and records of these checks should be kept. If any defects cannot be remedied within 24 hours, they must be reported to Fire and Rescue Services. The responsible person is also responsible for providing information on defects and repair outcomes to residents.
  • Lastly, it is necessary to install wayfinding signage in the stairwells of relevant buildings. These signs should be visible even in low light or smoky conditions and should identify flat and floor numbers.

Am I the responsible person?

If you do the following then yes:

  • Carrying out and reviewing risk assessments regularly and recording all findings.
  • Ensuring that any risks that have been identified and resolved have been shared with other members of staff or occupiers.
  • Communicating with other Responsible Persons for the building.
  • Preparing a plan to follow in the case of an emergency.
  • Put in place fire safety measures and precautions and ensure these are maintained.
  • Providing fire safety information and instructions to other people in the building.
  • If in a workplace, ensure fire safety training is carried out by staff regularly.

To ease the stress and the headache of managing the fire safety of your premises we provide all essential fire safety needs. Allow Help and Safety at Work to carry out your Fire Risk Assessment, Service your fire extinguishers and provide fire warning systems.

To find out more about the Responsible Person of your property contact us or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Call: 01832 735874

Email: admin@hasaw.co.uk

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