Responsible Person – Fire Safety

A Responsible Person (in fire safety at least) is someone who has control of a non-domestic building – either through ownership or management. The responsible part in this context is all about taking the reins when it comes to identifying as well as reducing risks, and putting steps in place for fire safety precautions and escape. 

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 demands that a Responsible Person takes all steps possible to reduce the risk of fire, and to put steps in place for efficient evacuation in the event that a fire does occur in spite of their best efforts and precautions.

Ultimately, your RP is the one who is tasked with protecting anyone who works in or visits the premises from fire hazards – as well as those who might live or stay there as tenants or residents, such as in student accommodation or care homes. 

Your Responsible Person is the individual who is responsible for completing a fire risk assessment.

According to Government Guidelines, the Responsible Person in your business must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep people safe.

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Meaning of “responsible person”

3.  In this Order "responsible person" means— 

(a)in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;

(b)in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)—

(i)the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

(ii)the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking.

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