Who is the Responsible Person?
The Responsible Person is ultimately the person who has legal responsibility for the fire safety in the building. It is usually the person who is in control of a building or business. For example, in a workplace it could be the owner of the company. In a property, it could be the landlord or the managing agent. It is common for there to be more than one Responsible Person in a building. If this is the case, they both need to ensure that they liaise on a regular basis about any updates or findings on the fire safety of the building.
How can you find out who the Responsible Person is for your premises?
If you are unsure who the Responsible Person is, or if you are the Responsible Person, you should contact the owner or manager of the business/property.
What are the duties of the Responsible Person?
- Carrying out risk assessments on a regular basis and recording all findings.
- Ensuring that any risks that have been identified have been shared with other members of staff or occupiers.
- Reviewing all assessments that are carried out.
- Communicating with other Responsible Persons for the building.
- Preparing a plan to follow in the case of emergency.
- Putting in place fire safety measures and ensure these are maintained.
- Implementing fire safety precautions e.g. equipment.
- Providing fire safety information and instructions to other people in the building.
- If in a workplace, ensuring fire safety training is carried out by staff on a regular basis.
If the Responsible Person is unsure about any aspects of their role they can hire a fire safety expert, who can offer advice and carry out risk assessments.
What is the difference between a Responsible Person and a Fire Warden?
The Responsible person has legal responsibility for fire safety in the building and so will oversee fire safety for the whole premises. The Responsible Person will delegate some of the tasks on to the Fire Wardens, for example emergency evacuation or fire prevention planning. For more in depth information about the role of a Fire Warden, click here.
It is highly important that all buildings have an appointed Responsible Person, as they are in charge of overseeing the safety of everyone who is on the premises.
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