A closer look at the duties of the ‘responsible person’ for fire safety pt.1

In every business or organisation, there should be one person who has some degree of control over fire safety policy and fire prevention systems within the premises. This person is called the ‘responsible person’, and can be the owner or manager of a business or simply someone who has been appointed by the owner.
The main aim of the responsible person is to ensure that everyone who uses the premises can escape if a fire should break out. If you are the responsible person for your business, you will also need to know how to identify people who may need special help in evacuating the building, such as disabled people, children or the elderly.
Other duties of the responsible person include:
• Carrying out a risk assessment, or bringing in a consultant to do the assessment
• Taking all reasonable measures to reduce the risk from fire
• Put fire precautions in place to counter any remaining risks
There are other duties the responsible person must carry out in addition the above (see pt.2 of this guide), which is why it is important for the appointed person to undergo fire marshal training or another specially tailored fire safety awareness course.