Fire safety and fire risk assessment

Fire safety responsibility


Typically the employer, owner, or occupier of the business premises is responsible for fire safety. In legal terms, they are known as the 'appropriate person'.

Fire safety: role of the appropriate person

All workplaces, commercial premises, and other buildings the public have access to must have a fire risk assessment carried out. The appropriate person must carry out or arrange for a fire risk assessment of the commercial property. They must also implement and maintain appropriate and adequate fire safety measures to minimise the risk to life from fire. See duties of the appropriate person for fire safety.

If you haven't done so already, you should establish who the appropriate person for fire safety is within your business or business property.

Fire safety in domestic rental properties

In the case of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation, the fire safety legislation applies to common or shared parts. In these cases the responsibility for fire safety usually rests with the landlord, freeholder or managing agent. See domestic rental property: landlord and tenant responsibilities.

Fire safety in shared premises

In shared premises, there are likely to be a number of people, including the owner and the employers within the building, with responsibilities under the fire safety legislation. Where this is the case, they are expected to:

  • co-operate with each other
  • co-ordinate with fire safety measures
  • share information with each other to ensure the safety of those in or around the premises

See fire safety guides for businesses.