Office environments are changing. Who is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the souls within a particular demise. That might be you. Under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (2005) the responsibility for maintaining fire safety in non-domestic buildings falls to the Responsible Person. In an enquiry, they will look to the responsible person in charge. That might be the landlord, the building manager, the company owner, the office manager, the facilities manger and so on. If you are a person in charge of an area where people work, it’s YOUR responsibility to make sure they are safe. In all other premises the person or people in control of the premises will be responsible. If there is more than one responsible person in any type of premises, all must take all reasonable steps to work with each other.
The Responsible Person must
- Ensure that a fire safety risk assessment is carried out and reviewed on a regular basis
- Identify and record the fire hazards
- Identify and record the people at risk
- Evaluate, remove or mitigate the fire safety risks
- Prepare an emergency plan and provide training
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly
- Part of this risk assessment and fire management plan must consider the safe installation, maintenance and inspection of fire doors.
- The person responsible for fire safety in Scotland is called the ‘duty holder’, while in Northern Ireland they are known as the ‘appropriate person’. However, the duties of this person, regardless of country, are the same: to carry out the fire risk assessment and ensure the safety of anyone using their premises.
In relation to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 a sentence of 2 years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine per individual offence is the maximum sentence available to the courts.