FAQ

Q. Will an inspecting officer from the Fire & Rescue Service visit my premises and identify any action required?

A. No this is your responsibility. You need to prepare a fire risk assessment and emergency plan. The findings of the risk assessment must be recorded where:

  • A licence under an enactment is in force.
  • An Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order requires it.
  • You are an employer and have five or more employees.

Your fire risk assessment must cover both employees and any other relevant person and could include employees of other employers, as well as visitors, contractors etc. An officer of the Fire Service will expect to see your risk assessment and emergency plan when they call to inspect.

Q. Who is the ‘responsible person’?

A. In a workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, for example, the occupier or owner.

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 then each responsible person must take all reasonable steps to work with each other.

Q. Who is a ‘relevant person’?

A. Any person (including the responsible person) who is lawfully on the premises and any person in the vicinity of the premises who may be affected by a fire on the premises.

Q. I own a building, but I lease it out and have no direct involvement. Does the Fire Safety Order apply to me?

A. The Fire Safety Order applies to any person who has, to any extent, control of a premises but it will also depend upon the terms of your lease agreement. In a multi-occupied building, the owner may have a responsibility in respect of the common parts of the building (such as the staircase enclosure) and a separate fire risk assessment will be required for those parts in conjunction with those of the occupiers. As the owner it is important you make your tenants aware of their responsibilities under the Fire Safety Order and cooperate with them to ensure compliance.

Q. Can I carry out the fire risk assessment?

A. The answer is yes but you will need to be trained on a suitable course to enable you to undertake this work. The Fire Safety Order makes allowance for any competent person to carry out an assessment. It is important to ensure that who you decide to employ is competent to undertake your fire risk assessment and is qualified to carry out such work.

Q. My business only employs a couple of staff do I have any responsibility to do anything?

A. You still need to carry out a fire risk assessment and have an emergency plan even if there is just one employee.

The findings of the risk assessment must be recorded where:

  • A licence under an enactment is in force.
  • An Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order requires it.
  • You are an employer and have five or more employees.

Q. I understand that the legislation doesn’t apply to the self-employed is this information accurate?

A. No this is false, in fact the Fire Safety Order applies to all premises including those occupied by the self-employed. So you will still be required to carry out a fire risk assessment and have an emergency plan appropriate for the premises you occupy.

Q. I occupy a unit and employ several staff in a multi-occupied building. What are my responsibilities?

A. The Fire Safety Order makes every employer responsible for the safety of their employees and any other relevant person, which can of course include employees of other employers as well as visitors, contractors etc.

You should take account of the risk to both your employees and other relevant persons to the extent to which you have control of the premises. It is important to recognise that other employers in the building must also do the same.

The owner (or landlord if they have legal responsibility) of the building must take into account the risk to persons in the common parts.

Please be aware that Article 22 of the Fire Safety Order requires all parties to cooperate, where two or more responsible persons have duties in respect of the Order.

Q. Do fire certificates issued under the 1971 Fire Precautions Act have any relevance?

A. When the Fire Safety Order came into force, fire certificate legislation was repealed and therefore fire certificates are no longer valid. You will however need to prepare a fire risk assessment and an emergency plan.

Q. What are my responsibilities as a Managing Agent?

A. It all depends upon the terms of your contract with the owner of the building. If you have any control over a premises regardless of the extent then the Fire Safety Order applies to you. It is important that your tenants are aware of the Fire Safety Order and you cooperate with them to ensure compliance.

If the building concerned is multi-occupied you may have a responsibility to prepare, on the owner’s behalf, a fire risk assessment in respect of the common parts of the building and to coordinate your risk assessment with those of the occupiers.

New Logo with Flame white