Fire Risk Assessment Responsible Persons
Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order rests with the 'responsible person'.
For example it could be:
- The employer for those parts of premises that 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 control; or
- Any other person who has some control over a part of the premise.
Although in many premises the responsible person will be obvious, there may be times when a number of people have some responsibility.
If you are the responsible person you must carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all 'relevant persons'. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as young people, the disabled and those with special needs, and must include consideration of any dangerous substance likely to be on the premises.
Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain. If you employ five or more people you must record your fire risk assessment and any significant findings.
In addition to fire safety legislation, Health and Safety at Work legislation also covers the elimination or minimisation of fire risks. As well as the particular and main general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act, fire risks are also covered by specific rules such as for work equipment, certain types of substance, electricity and other hazards.
Thus, environmental health officers or Health and Safety Executive inspectors may enforce health and safety standards for the assessment and removal or control of fire risks where it is necessary, for the protection of workers and others so far as is reasonably practicable, that the employer exceeds the requirements of fire safety legislation.
Employees whose conduct leads to a breach of Health and Safety at Work legislation as regards fire risks can be prosecuted alongside or instead of a duty holder. And, where a duty holder breaches his Health and Safety at Work duties as regards fire safety due to the consent, connivance or neglect of any of his directors or senior managers, the executive(s) can be prosecuted alongside the company.