This is a question the team at Hartson Fire is often asked when our engineers go into businesses to install or service fire extinguishers.  In a nutshell, the owner, landlord, employer or occupier of a business premises is responsible for fire safety as stipulated in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  This person is known as the ‘responsible person’. 

Role of the Responsible Person

The responsible person has a responsibility to put in place the following measures:

  • Carry out regular fire risk assessment and review these regularly.
  • Identify risks from the fire risk assessment and put procedures or processes in place to reduce or manage them.
  • Have in place an appropriate fire safety procedure and communicate this to staff and visitors.
  • Provide training to staff to ensure they know what to do in the event of a fire,

Carrying Out a Fire Risk Assessment

A fire risk assessment is a detailed review of a businesses premises to identify fire risks and put in place measures to reduce or manage these risks. A fire risk assessment can be carried out by a competent person or, if you don’t have someone who fits this bill, then you should always get this done by a professional.

This should be a trained fire risk assessor who will provide you with a comprehensive fire risk assessment and detailed guidance on the equipment required and any processes which may need to be introduced.

The key areas covered in a fire risk assessment include:

  • Checking that emergency evacuation routes and exits clear from hazards and are well sign posted.
  • Ensuring you have appropriate fire safety equipment and it is situated in the right place.
  • Making sure you have measures in place for elderly people or those with disabilities to be able to vacate the building in case of a fire.
  • Fire safety signage is in place and adequate for the premises.

Fire Extinguishers and Servicing

It’s important that you have the right type of fire extinguisher in place to deal with a fire in your particular work setting.

The safety of your staff and visitors should be the main priority and staff should only be encouraged to use a fire extinguisher in the event of a fire if they have been trained and as long as it does not put them in any danger.

You can find out which fire extinguishers are right for your business premises here.

It’s important that your extinguishers are commissioned and installed by an experienced service engineer at your premises. You will also need the make sure that the correct signage showing the location and type of extinguisher is in place.

Once your extinguishers have been installed, the responsible person has a duty to ensure that a monthly visual check is carried out. Issues to look for include:

  • Signs of damage to the exterior
  • Blockages in the hose
  • Signs that the extinguisher has been tampered with
  • Ensuring that the extinguisher is pressurised.

Importantly, you must also ensure that an annual service of the extinguisher is carried out by a trained engineer and in accordance with British Standards.

Hartson Fire

The team at Hartson Fire can work with you, and in line with the risk assessment carried out, will install all necessary fire safety equipment.  We can also carry out all servicing as required.

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