Are you the ‘responsible person’ for fire safety in your building? If so, this is a position you should not take lightly, with this being a hugely important role that has a direct impact on the safety of the building, its staff members and visitors.
In essence, the responsible person is the person who is legally responsible for the fire safety in the building.
The idea of appointing a responsible person was first introduced in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; an act that brought many existing fire safety laws under one overarching document. Legislation states that the responsible person needs to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of fire and consider ways to best protect people within the facility. This includes both occupants as well as visitors.
Who is the responsible person?
The responsible person is the person that has control over the running of the building. For businesses, this is usually the business owner. If there are two business owners in the company, then it is likely that you will both assume this role, sharing the responsibilities that come with running a business premises safely and in line with fire safety law.
What are the responsibilities of the responsible person?
Being the responsible person is much more than a box-ticking exercise, with various fire safety tasks and duties needed to be completed throughout the year. Failure to stay on top of these can result in fines being issued and in extreme cases, imprisonment!
- Fire Risk Assessments: As the responsible person you must ensure professional fire risk assessments are conducted on the building annually. All findings of these assessments need to be recorded with any action points addressed. Where some people will conduct the fire risk assessment themselves, the majority appoint an outside firm like us at Twenty 4 fire and Security to conduct the assessment on their behalf.
- Emergency Fire Safety Plan: Preparing a plan to follow in case of an emergency is an integral part of the job. What’s more, you need to ensure all staff members and relevant people are aware of the plan and where to access it.
- Fire Safety Equipment and Maintenance: The findings of the business’ fire risk assessment will outline what your building needs in the way of fire safety equipment. This will include whether you need fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire doors, fire extinguishers etc. Once the right systems have been installed by a professional, you will need to organise the maintenance of these devices.
- Educating Staff on Fire Safety: Providing fire safety information and instructions to other people in the building is another part of the role. This includes arranging regular fire drills, educating new employers on the fire safety plan and what to do in the event of a fire.
Need help with your business’ fire safety?
Are you concerned about your business’ fire safety setup? Maybe you need some fire safety equipment installed or a fire risk assessment conducted? Whatever your query, our team will be more than happy to help. Contact us today on 029 2125 2424 for an informal chat!