We have seen a substantial overhaul of UK fire safety over the last two years with a myriad of changes designed to tighten up and improve fire safety legislation. The latest update came into force on 1 October 2023, and implemented phase 3 of the Home Office’s fire safety reform programme.
This requires enhanced collaboration and coordination between responsible persons (RPs) and, imposes stricter requirements on recording and sharing of fire safety information. It also simplifies the process for enforcement authorities to take action against non-compliance and provides residents with comprehensive information regarding fire safety in their buildings.
So who is a responsible person? They are the person who is responsible for the safety of themselves and others who use a regulated premises. This is normally a building owner, or in residential properties, any other person in control of the premises. The responsible person is the person on whom most of the duties set out in the Fire Safety Order are imposed.
If you are a person with responsibility for the premises, under fire safety legislation, you must:
- Carry out a fire risk assessment of your premises regardless of the number of employees.
- Ensure that adequate fire safety measures are provided.
- Maintain those fire safety measures.
- Have adequate fire procedures to ensure employees and visitors are aware of what to do in the event of fire, and that they understand the fire safety measures within the building.
- Co-operate with any other person who has duties under fire safety legislation to co-ordinate the fire safety measures for which each of you is responsible.
- Keep your fire risk assessment and fire safety measures under regular review and take action where necessary to address new or increased risks.
To help you understand current fire safety legislation, the government has published 3 new fire safety guides on small non-domestic premises, small blocks of flats and for small sleeping accommodation. These replace the previous short guide to making your premises safe from fire. The government has also published and updated the fire risk assessment checklist.
If the responsible person is not competent to undertake a fire risk assessment, the employer must ensure that the person they appoint is competent to do so, which can be can be an external fire safety specialist.
EML can provide fully qualified fire risk assessors who are approved by the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM). If you require a Fire Risk Assessment for your premises, or need any other help in this area, get in touch with us today on 01942 727200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial consultation without charge or obligation.