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Your Responsibilities - Information for Employers

If you are an employer, this page provides a summary of your main rights and responsibilities. For a comprehensive list of your rights and responsibilities, please refer to the Fire Safety Order legislation. If you have any doubts about your legal obligations, you should seek independent legal advice.

As an employer:

  •  You are entitled to the co-operation of your employees in respect of your fire safety responsibilities and for employees to take reasonable care for their own safety and others whom their actions could affect.
  •  You must carry out (and review regularly) a fire safety risk assessment to identify the potential for fire to occur in the workplace and cause harm to employees and persons in, or in the immediate vicinity of, the premises.
  •  You must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your employees from harm caused by fire in the workplace and take reasonable measures to ensure their safety and that of others there, or in the immediate vicinity. These measures should be aimed at avoiding or reducing any risks identified.
  •  You must provide clear, appropriate information and instruction (and training where necessary) to your employees and anyone else working on your premises, e.g. contractors and their employer(s), in relation to any risks identified and fire safety measures provided.
  •  You must ensure that a record of a fire risk assessment is kept (electronically or paper-based) if you employ five or more employees (whether they are based in the premises or not), have a licence (such as a liquor licence) for the premises, are subject to registration (such as care home registration), or an alterations notice requiring this has been served in relation to the premises by the enforcing authority.
  •  You must carry out (or review) a fire risk assessment before employing anyone under the age of 18 (Article 19 refers to employment of a child. The definition of a child is a person who is not older than the compulsory school leaving age i.e. when the child attains the age of 16 years.), taking into account their youth and inexperience, and the particular risks they may be exposed to in the workplace. If a child is of school age, their parent must be informed of the risks and the measures taken to avoid or reduce them.
  •  You must ensure that the premises are equipped to an appropriate level, with means of escape (ensuring these can be safely used), means of detecting fire and giving warning in the event of fire, means of fighting fires, and arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire.
  •  You must ensure that the premises, and any fire safety facilities, equipment and devices are maintained in good order.
  •  You must co-operate with anyone else who has fire safety responsibilities for the same premises (including sharing information about the activities or measures undertaken, where appropriate) and take all reasonable steps to co-ordinate your fire safety measures regarding the premises.

If you have control of the premises or safety obligations

As someone who is not an employer but has control of the premises or safety obligations to some extent, such as an owner, tenant, contractor, or occasional user (including voluntary groups):

  •  You are entitled to co-operation from others with fire safety responsibilities for the premises.
  •  You must carry out (and review regularly as necessary) a fire safety risk assessment of the premises to the extent of your control, or obligations towards them, identifying any risks to persons in, or in the immediate vicinity of, the premises in respect of harm caused by fire.
  •  You must take reasonable fire safety measures on the basis of the results of your fire safety risk assessment to ensure, to the extent of the control or obligations you have the safety of persons from harm caused by fire in the premises.
  •  You must ensure that the premises are equipped to an appropriate level, relative to the extent of your control or obligations, with means of escape (ensuring they can be safely used), means of detecting fire and giving warning in the event of fire, means of fighting fires, and arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire.
  •  You must co-operate (including sharing information where appropriate) with others who have fire safety responsibilities for the premises, take all reasonable steps to co-ordinate your fire safety measures with theirs, taking into account the extent of your control or obligation and theirs in respect of the premises.
  • You must ensure that the premises and any fire safety facilities, equipment and devices are maintained in good order, to the extent of your control or obligation towards the premises.
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