Are you the responsible person for fire safety

fire safety in the workplace...

Who is the responsible, competent and relevant person?

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the terms “Responsible Person”, ”Competent Person”, and “Relevant Person” are introduced. If you’re not sure who in your organisation is responsible for fire safety or are unsure as to your duties, we’re here to help provide the information you need to stay informed, safe and in control.

So how do you know if you’re the responsible, competent or relevant person?

The Responsible Person

In this Order “responsible person” means—

  1. in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;
  2. in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)—
    1. the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or
    2.  the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking

In most circumstances the owner, employer or occupier of the premises is responsible for ensuring and maintaining correct fire safety and procedures – known as the “responsible person”.

If you’re unsure who the “responsible person” of your premises is, you should contact the person in charge of the workplace and ensure that adequate and correct fire safety measures are in place.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the responsible person is required to – following a risk assessment – implement appropriate fire safety measures to minimize the risk to life from fire, and to keep the assessment up to date.

A Fire Risk Assessment is a simple and effective way to make sure you are up to date and safe...

The Competent Person

The competent person or fire risk assessor need not possess any specific academic qualifications but should:

  • understand the relevant fire safety legislation and the associated guidance documents (;
  • have appropriate education, training, knowledge and experience in the principles of fire safety;
  • have an understanding of fire development and the behaviour of people in fire; understand the fire hazards, fire risks and relevant factors associated with occupants at special risk within buildings of the type in question; and
  • have appropriate training and/or experience in carrying out fire risk assessments.

There is no defined skillset or training designated for the “competent person”, however, they must show a competency in all areas equal to (or greater than) the complexity of problems to be tackled. The competent person must display an ability to identify a problem when seen and suitably asses its relative importance in relation to the safety systems in place.

The Relevant Person

The relevant person refers to any person, including responsible and competent persons, who are or may be on the premises and any person in the immediate vicinity of the premises who is at risk from a fire on the premises. The relevant person is anyone that could possibly effected by a fire

In the simplest terms, the relevant person is anyone that could possibly effected by a fire (or related) problems at the premises.

If you’re unsure who the relevant people are, then a thorough fire risk assessment will outline them for you.