In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, owner, landlord or occupier of business or other non-domestic premises, you’re responsible for fire safety and are known as the ‘responsible person’.
The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests – eg if you run a bed and breakfast, guest house or let a self-catering property.
Fire safety rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The ‘responsible person’
As the ‘responsible person’ you must:
- carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises
- tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
- put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
- plan for an emergency
- provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training
Non-domestic premises are:
- all workplaces and commercial premises
- all premises the public have access to
- the common parts of multi-occupied residential buildings
In shared premises it’s likely there’ll be more than one responsible person. You’ll need to coordinate your fire safety plans to make sure people on or around the premises are safe.
For common or shared areas, the responsible person is the landlord, freeholder or managing agent.
Alterations, extensions and new buildings
When building new premises or doing building work on existing premises, you must comply with building regulations. This includes designing fire safety into the proposed building or extension.
Penalties and enforcement
You could get fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.
Local fire and rescue authorities inspect premises and can issue fire safety notices telling you about changes you need to make.