Am I responsible for fire safety?
You are responsible for fire safety in a business or non-domestic premises if you're:
- An employer
- The owner
- The landlord
- An occupier
- Somebody with a degree of control over the premises
(e.g. a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor)
What are my responsibilities?
As the Responsible Person you must:
- Take general fire precautions to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of employees and anyone who may be legally on or within the vicinity of the premises
- Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) to identify fire hazards, those at risk, and the general fire precautions required
- Tell staff or their representatives about the risks you've identified
- Put in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures as identified by your FRA
- Put a plan in place on what to do in the event of a fire and make people aware of it
- Provide staff with information, fire safety instruction and training
- Review your FRA regularly, particularly if you believe there have been significant changes made, or it is no longer valid
Fire Risk Assessments (FRA)
If you employ more than 5 people across your business, or you are a licensed premises, you must record the significant findings of the FRA and anyone who has been identified as especially at risk.
You can carry out the FRA yourself if you feel confident to do so, and the Government has published guidance on how to do so: Fire Safety in the workplace
If you are at all unsure, you should appoint a specialist to carry out the FRA. Further guidance on choosing a competent Fire Risk Assessor is available.
The Institution of Fire Engineers keeps a register of approved Fire Risk Assessors who have been able to demonstrate to a Professional Review Panel that they have suitable education, training and experience in the principles of fire safety and fire risk assessment.
What if I don't carry out my responsibilities?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 applies to businesses and landlords and is enforced in Surrey by Surey Fire & Rescue Service. Fire Safety Inspecting Officers can audit your premises and you could be fined or sent to prison if you are found to be in breach of this legislation.
It is also important to know that around 70% of businesses that suffer a serious fire close within 18 months. Even if you can rebuild your physical assets, you may well lose your customers.
How can I find out more?
Surrey Fire & Rescue Service offer free Business Fire Safety Visits for businesses within Surrey.
The Primary Authority Scheme offers tailored advice that organisations can apply nationwide.