It is imperative that all businesses undertake a fire risk assessment. This includes anyone that has paying guests, including bed & breakfasts, guesthouses or self-catering property lets.
Who is the Responsible Person?
The Responsible Person is the employer, business owner, landlord, occupier or anyone else with control of the premises such as a building manager or managing agent.
If the Responsible Person does not have the time or expertise to do a fire risk assessment, they can appoint a Competent Person in their place, such as a professional risk assessor.
What are the duties of the Responsible Person?
The Responsible Person must carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises. If he or she identifies any risks, they must inform all staff and ensure they put in place appropriate fire safety measures. They also need an emergency plan, and to provide fire instruction and training to all staff.
Step-by-step assessment guide
1. Identify fire hazards
2. Identify anyone at risk
3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
4. Record findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training
5. Regularly revisit the fire risk assessment in case it needs updating
The government has a five-step checklist here
You can also download guides to fire risk assessments in different types of premises here
For more detailed information on evacuation plans, equipment, fire drills and potential penalties, visit the government’s fire safety website.