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Do I need a Fire Risk Assessment for my commercial property?

Who is responsible?

Firstly, you need to find out who is responsible for fire safety within your business or non-domestic premises. You are classed as responsible, if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • An employer
  • The owner
  • The landlord
  • An occupier
  • Facilities manager
  • Buildings manager
  • Managing agent
  • Risk assessor
  • Anyone who has control of the premises

What is a non-domestic premises?

A non-domestic premises can be defined as:

  • Offices, workplaces and commercial buildings
  • Any building the public has access to
  • The “common” areas in a residential house of multiple occupancy, such as corridors and hallways
  • Buildings with paying guests, such as B&B’s, guesthouses or self-catering holiday let

Can more than one person be responsible?

There is quite often more than one “responsible person” for each property, for example buildings that have more than one tenant. Therefore, it is imperative you work together to ensure your legal responsibilities are met, and your fire safety plans are co-ordinated to keep all people in the building safe. Shared areas, such as hallways and stairs, are the responsibility of the owner, landlord or managing agent.

What am I responsible for?

As someone who is responsible for fire safety you must:

  • Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment of the premises
  • Conduct regular reviews of your fire risk assessment
  • Have regular meetings with your staff and discuss any risks you have identified
  • Carry out Fire safety planning, including building evacuation routes and appropriate fire safety measures
  • Have a plan in case of emergency
  • Provide your staff with fire safety information and training

Do I have to comply with fire safety standards?

Yes. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 covers general fire safety in England and Wales. If these laws are not adhered to, those deemed responsible can be fined up to an unlimited amount and given a prison sentence. These regulations are there to protect everyone against injury and death in the event of a fire.

 

Do I need to update my fire safety plan if I alter or extend my commercial building?

Yes. Whether it’s building from scratch, or carrying out extensions or alterations on an existing building, you must comply with building regulations and include a fire safety plan that incorporates the proposed building or extension.

This may mean you have to re-design your evacuation routes or emergency meeting points, but you must have a new fire safety plan whenever new building work is concerned.

 

Buildings in Scotland and Northern Ireland

If you are classed as a responsible person with regards to fire safety, but your property is in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you must adhere to the rules set out by their governing bodies. Further information on fire safety rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland, can be found here: Scotland  Northern Ireland

 

Additional Information on fire safety can be found here:

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Fire Safety

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