Completing a fire risk assessment guarantees the safety of the people living or working in the building. It also protects the building from damage and businesses from being disrupted, meaning it’s in everyone’s interest to perform fire risk assessments, from landlords and business owners to tenants and employees.
However, not everyone is aware of who should be responsible for completing this fire risk assessment and making sure that a comprehensive report is kept. We explore this topic as well as what the duties are of the person who is deemed responsible for doing the assessment.
Who Is Responsible for Completing A Fire Risk Assessment?
The UK Government states that you may be responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re:
- An employer
- The owner
- The landlord
- An occupier
- Facilities manager
- Building manager
- Managing agent
- Designated risk assessor
Ultimately, there can be confusion about who is actually responsible for handling the tasks related to fire safety and this can sometimes lead to complacency or mistakes during the assessment process. If you are in a senior or management level position for a building, whether that’s a block of flats or a business centre, you should always check to see who has been designated the responsible person.
This individual may change from time to time as people leave their roles and new employees come in to take on their responsibilities. However, there should always be one responsible person at any given time who will be in charge of commissioning a fire risk assessment and keeping the report safe and up-to-date.
If a person has control of the premises, then they are the ones responsible for carrying out an assessment. Yet, it is also the collective responsibility to ensure that fire standards are maintained. For example, once notified of the findings of a report, individual businesses within a business centre must make the necessary changes to conform with fire safety regulations.
Tenants must also work with their landlords to ensure that standards are met regarding keeping emergency exit points clear and properties free from fire hazards like faulty equipment or highly flammable objects in the kitchen area.
Risk Assessors and Managing Agents
It is extremely common for both risk assessors and managing agents to take on the role of responsible person when it comes to fire risk assessments. They will take on the responsibilities of the landlord. However, it must be officially stated in writing that they will take on the role for a specific duration of time or until they no longer work in their current role.
Interestingly, you must also become the designated fire risk assessor in your own home or guest house if you service paying guests. So if you’re renting out your property on Airbnb, you will still need to consider the fire safety risks of your property.
The Role of the Responsible Person
The responsible persons must carry out assessments of the building, as well as review it on a regular basis. If you have a business you must inform all your employees about fire risks and the fire safety measures that have to be in place.
A plan for an emergency must be kept in place too and all records must be kept safe and updated when necessary. People who hold this title must be aware of the current regulations and should ideally be trained appropriately and aware of the risks if they are responsible for any large number of people.
Fire Risk Assessment Services
Whether someone doesn’t have the time, experience or training to be an effective responsible person when it comes to fire risk assessment, a risk assessor or managing agent can be responsible. However, you can also use the fire risk assessment services of an external company that specialises in fire risk assessments. These organisations will help you to perform regular checks and update your fire records as needed.
If a responsible party doesn’t feel confident about carrying out a fire risk assessment as per the requirements of the Fire Safety Order, then it is highly advised that they use an experienced fire risk assessor.
Completing a fire risk assessment is essential, and the person responsible must do it the right way, and within the guidelines set forth by the government. If you’re looking for fire risk assessment services for your rental property, business or home, we can help you at UK-Fire Risk Assessments.