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Fire Safety Responsibilities

All employers have fire safety responsibilities but many are unaware of what is require.  The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 specifies what an employer is required to have in place, and several guides are available.

What Must an Employer Do Under the Reform Order?

Employers must :

• carry out a fire-risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks;

• consider who may be especially at risk;

• get rid of or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably possible and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible risk left;

• take other measures to make sure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored;

• create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, keep a record of your findings; and

• review your findings when necessary.

Who is Responsible for Meeting the Order and therefore Fire Safety in the Workplace?

Under the order, anyone who has control of premises or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems may be a ‘responsible person’.  It could be:

• the employer for those parts of premises 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 any control; or

• any other person who has some control over a part of the premises.

The Fire Risk Assessment is a good place to start.  This process is aimed at identifying what the risks are, who is at risk, and what actions should be take.  For advice on the Fire Risk Assessment, or any fire safety issues affecting your workplace, call FSS on 01246 434 314.

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