The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 imposes various duties on the 'responsible person' with regard to fire safety in commercial properties.

Responsible person fire safety

The 'responsible person' is defined as:

  • An employer
  • The owner
  • The landlord
  • An occupier
  • Anyone else with control of the premises, for example, a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor.

What are the responsible person's fire safety obligations?

A 'responsible person' must complete the following:

  • Carry out a fire-risk assessment identifying any possible dangers and risks;
  • Consider who may be especially at risk;
  • Eliminate or reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably possible and provide general fire precautions to deal with any possible residual risk;
  • Take other measures to make sure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored;
  • Create a plan to deal with any emergency and, in most cases, keep a record of findings and review findings when necessary.Who Is Responsible for Fire Safety in a Commercial Lease v2

Fire safety responsibilities in shared premises

It can be difficult to determine who has 'control' of premises in the context of leasehold properties. Both the landlord and the tenant normally share fire safety responsibilities in multi-let buildings. Tenants have responsibility for their demised area, and the landlord will be responsible for common areas. They are also responsible for maintaining shared file safety equipment, for example, fire alarm systems covering the whole building. Additionally, if a landlord forfeits or surrenders a lease, they are also taking back control and therefore becoming the responsible person

What are the penalties for non-compliance of fire safety law

Anyone who breaches fire safety regulations could face fines of up to £5,000 for minor issues, unlimited fines for considerable breaches, or a prison sentence of up to two years. Punishments will depend upon the severity of the breach and the resulting consequences.

Contact Our Commercial Property Solicitors

If you have any more questions or would like more information regarding fire safety in a commercial lease, you can contact our Commercial Property Solicitors below.

0161 941 4000