Last edited 12 Nov 2015

Responsible person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 consolidated and rationalised previous fire safety legislation and reduced the number of enforcing authorities dealing with general fire safety matters.

The Order requires that owners of premises other than private dwellings appoint a responsible person (the person having control of the building, or a degree of control) who takes reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and makes sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. This includes all people that might visit the premises.

The Order defines a ‘responsible person’ as:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Their duties of the responsible person are set out in articles 8 to 22 of the Order, and include:

  • Taking fire precautions to ensure the safety of employees and premises.
  • Undertaking a risk assessment.
  • Adopting the principles specified in Part 3 of Schedule 1 (the principles of prevention) See Fire principles of prevention for more information.
  • Making arrangements for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.
  • Eliminating or reducing risks from dangerous substances.
  • Ensuring premises are equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment and with fire detectors and alarms; and that any non-automatic fire-fighting equipment is easily accessible, simple to use and indicated by signs.
  • Ensuring that routes to emergency exits and the exits themselves are kept clear at all times.
  • Establishing appropriate procedures, including safety drills, to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to relevant persons.
  • Ensuring that no relevant person has access to any area to which it is necessary to restrict access on grounds of safety, unless the person concerned has received adequate safety instruction.
  • Adopting additional emergency measures in respect of dangerous substances.
  • Ensuring equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
  • Appointing one or more competent persons to assist them in undertaking preventive and protective measures.
  • Providing information and training to employees
  • Providing information to employers from outside organisations and the self employed.
  • Co-operating and co-ordinating with other responsible persons.

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