When we are asked to provide a quotation for a new or an extension to a fire alarm system that should comply with BS5839 Part 1:2013, the first questions we ask is who is the Responsible Person and can we see your risk assessment documents for the property. Unfortunately, on several occasions this request has been met with a blank expression. This short guide gives a brief overview of the Fire Safety Order and points the Responsible Person towards useful websites that can assist with compliance.
The Fire Safety order came into effect in 2005 and now places fire safety in the hands of a Responsible Person. A Responsible Person in a work place would be the employer and any other person who may have control of any parts of the work premises, such as landlord or owner. In all circumstances, the person in control of the property will be responsible.
If you are the responsible person you must carry out a fire risk assessment which must focus on the safety in case of fire of all ‘relevant persons’. It should pay particular attention to those at special risk, such as disabled people, those who you know have special needs and young persons and must include consideration of any dangerous substance liable to be on the premises. Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take.
If your organisation employs five or more people, your premises are licensed or an alterations notice is in force, you must record the significant findings of the assessment. It is good practice to record your significant findings in any case.
Please find below useful links to websites that can assist with the appointment of a Responsible Person and guide you through fire safety and the preparation of risk assessments.