The responsible person

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 imposes duties on the “responsible person”.

In relation to a work place, the responsible person is the employer, assuming that the work place is under the employer’s control to any extent.

For premises other than work places, the responsible person is the person who has control of such premises as an occupier in connection with the carrying on of a trade, business or other undertaking. It does not matter whether the undertaking is for profit or not. 

Alternatively, the responsible person could be the owner of the premises in circumstances where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking. 

The use of the word person should not be taken to imply that only individuals can be deemed to be subject to the duty under the 2005 Order. In law, a person can either be an individual or a body corporate.

In certain circumstances it may be that there is more than one responsible person for the purposes of determining who has duties imposed upon them by the 2005 Order. For example, if a Contract or Tenancy Agreement imposes obligations in relation to the maintenance and repair of premises or the safety of the premises then this may give rise to duties as well as duties owed by occupiers or employers.

Broadly speaking, the duty imposed on the responsible person is to ensure adequate general fire precautions are in place for everyone who may be affected by a fire on public access premises.

We have extensive experience of advising clients in relation to all aspects of the duties imposed on the responsible person by the 2005 Order.

If we can assist you in any way, or if you simply want to discuss a regulatory issue, please contact us at any time.