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Workplace Fire Safety Your Responsibilities

Health and safety nominates a 'responsible person' to be in charge of workplace fire safety. Check out your fire safety responsibilities at business and non-domestic premises.


The responsibility for fire safety at business or at non-domestic premises is yours if you are:

  • An employer or you are the owner of the premises.
  • The landlord or you are an occupier.
  • Any person with control of the building or land (e.g. a building manager, facilities manager, managing agent or a risk assessor).

You will be the ‘responsible person’ if any of these apply to you. Thus, you must meet all your responsibilities for workplace fire safety. You should work as a group if there is more than one responsible person.

The Fire Safety Order may also apply if there are paying guests. Examples include running a guesthouse, a bed and breakfast, or letting out a self-catering property.

Note: Check out 10 fire prevention rules for parents and children to help keep their home safe. Some fire safety regulations for workplace premises differ in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.

Responsibilities of the Responsible Person

If you are the person charged with making your premises safe from fire you must:

  • Carry out a workplace fire risk assessment for the premises and review it on a regular basis.
  • Inform the staff of any hazards or risks that you identify (or tell their representatives).
  • Put all appropriate fire safety measures in place and maintain them accordingly.
  • Make an evacuation plan for use in an emergency situation.
  • Provide your staff with any required information, fire safety instruction, and training.

Note: The government publish a short guide for businesses on complying with fire safety law in the workplace.

Fire Safety in Non-domestic Premises

When fire safety in the workplace refers to non-domestic premises, it relates to:

  • All workplaces and all commercial premises.
  • All types of premises that the public have access to.
  • Common areas in multi-occupied residential buildings.
Fire Safety in Shared premises

Often, there is at least one responsible person for fire safety in shared premises. Thus, you will need to coordinate the safety plans. You must ensure the safety of all people on or around the premises.

Note: The responsible person would be the freeholder, the landlord, or managing agent for common or shared areas.

Making Alterations, Extensions, and New Buildings

During any construction you will need to comply with the UK building regulations. It applies to all new premises or carrying out building work to existing premises. The regulations help to design fire safety into a proposed building or an extension.

Note: Statutory guidance ‘Fire safety: Approved Document B‘ covers building regulation in England and matters within and around buildings.

Workplace Fire Safety Enforcement and Penalties

As part of fire safety enforcement the local fire and rescue authorities often inspect premises. They can issue fire safety notices informing you of changes you must make.

Note: Failing to follow fire safety regulations can result in a fine or a prison sentence.

Workplace Fire Safety Your Responsibilities in the United Kingdom