Home » Fire Risk Assessments

Fire Risk Assessment Advice

Fire safety in commercial buildings is mainly regulated by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This sets out a number of obligations to be complied with by the ‘responsible person’ or ‘duty holder’-including the requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment.

Who is responsible for complying with fire safety regulations?

Working out who the responsible person or duty holder is can be tricky- and sometimes there is more than one such person under the regulations. In a workplace, the responsible person would be the employer and any other person who may have control of the property (e.g. the owner or occupier). Where there is not a ‘workplace’, the responsible person will be the person with control of the premises; otherwise, the owner. A duty holder would be anyone who has responsible for the maintenance or repair or safety of the premises themselves or anything at them.

Where commercial properties have been leased it is very often the tenant who would be the responsible person as they have ‘control’ of the premises let to them. They would also usually be responsible under the terms of the lease for compliance with all statutory obligations relating to the premises let to them.

However, there is often a split responsibility between a landlord and a tenant. For example, where a tenant leases just part of a building they will be responsible for the premises let to them but the landlord would be responsible for the remainder of the building, including any common parts. It’s also important for landlord’s to be aware that the responsibility for compliance would revert back to them when the lease ends.

What do the fire safety regulations require?

Essentially, the regulations require the responsible person to comply with various ‘duties’. The main ones are:

  • To carry out a fire risk assessment and review it regularly
  • In a workplace, to tell staff about the risks
  • To co-operate and co-ordinate with other responsible persons or duty holders in shared premises
  • To keep emergency exit routes and emergency exits clear

What is involved in carrying out a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment entails a full review of the property to identify any fire risks. It then sets out recommendations and action points to minimise the fire risk and to aim to keep people safe. The fire risk assessment should be recorded in writing and regularly reviewed and updated.

Who can carry out the fire risk assessment?

There is no legal requirement for someone qualified in fire safety to carry out the fire risk assessment- so property owners could do it themselves if they feel competent to do so. However given the risks involved, and the legal duty of the responsible person, clearly most would instruct an expert. The government recommends that the person carrying out the fire risk assessment is properly certified to do so- there are registers of individuals or companies available online.

What happens if the fire regulations are not complied with?

Compliance with the fire regulations is usually dealt with by the local fire and rescue authority. They have the power to issue various notices:

  • An alterations notice- which could involve making changes to the premises
  • An enforcement notice- which could include measures which are necessary to be carried out in order to remedy a failure
  • A prohibition notice- prohibiting of restricting the use of the premises

Failure to comply with the regulations or a notice could result in a fine or imprisonment.

Fire regulations and insurance

In the vast majority of cases, compliance with fire regulations will be condition of a buildings insurance policy – so non-compliance could invalidate the policy.

If you need any advice on fire risk assessments, please contact a member of our commercial property law team in confidence here or on 02920 829 100 for a free initial call to see how they can help.


To speak to one of our experts today, please contact us on 02920 829 100 or by using our Contact Us form for a free initial chat to see how we can help.

Contact Our Team
Catherine Burke
Partner
View Profile
Ciara O’Brien
Trainee Solicitor
View Profile
Donald Gray
Consultant
View Profile
Elin Davies
Associate
View Profile
Gareth Wedge
Partner
View Profile
Julia Bridge
Legal Director
View Profile
Lisa Evans
Paralegal
View Profile
Lorna Fraser
Associate
View Profile
Oliver Morris
Senior Associate
View Profile
Sarah Price
Senior Associate
View Profile
Stephanie Kendall
Trainee Solicitor
View Profile

I have worked with Darwin Gray for a number of years and the level of service, professionalism and timely response is second to none. I would highly recommend Darwin Gray to any business.”

Becs Beslee, Dice FM Ltd

Darwin Gray have provided us with a first-class service for many years now. They really take the time to understand our business and develop relationships which results in advice and support that is contextualised and effective.”

Rebecca Cooper, ACT Training

We have worked with Darwin Gray for several years and have always found their services and advice to be first class.”

Karen Gale, Stepping Stones Group

An extremely professional and sincere company who make time for your queries and understand the need to break down certain facts and information to ensure everything is understood perfectly. I would highly recommend the company to anyone looking for any type of legal advice”

Gwawr Booth, Portal Training Ltd

PSS has worked with Darwin Gray for many years. We have always received an excellent service. Prompt and professional advice and support.”

Ledia Shabani, Property Support Services UK Ltd

We have used several departments within DG recently and we have been very pleased with an effective, efficient and down to earth service. Very happy thus far and I expect that we will continue to use DG.”

Guto Bebb, Farmers’ Union of Wales

Darwin Gray offer us truly superb services. Very professional, quick and services available bilingually which is very important to us, highly recommend.”

Iwan Hywel, Mentrau Iaith Cymru

My “go to” in urgent and time sensitive cases for direction, support and advice. The team are quick to respond to calls or emails for advice and support on all matters. Always explain complex matters in a way a lay person can easily understand.”

Margot Adams, Guarding UK Ltd

Darwin Gray have acted for myself and my company over a number of years and at all times we have been treated with a professional manner yet maintain a common-sense approach at all levels. We couldn’t recommend them more highly.”

Simon Baston, Loft Co

We have been clients of Darwin Gray for many years; they’ve always dealt with all of our legal matters with such professionalism. They work around us, even during awkward hours, and we feel confident we can always rely on them.”

Louise Williams, ACT Training

Darwin Gray has been acting for Siltbuster for more than ten years. We would have no hesitation in recommending Darwin Gray to other organisations small or large.”

Richard D Coulton, Siltbuster Ltd

From the very first conversation, I had no doubt that Darwin Gray should be the firm to receive our instructions on this matter. I would have no hesitation in recommending Darwin Gray.”

Sandra Warr, Tomos TV

We regularly instruct Darwin Gray. Their service in dealing with our transactional matters and disputes is always professional, prompt and efficient.”

John Poppleton, Absolute Property Management Solutions Ltd

Darwin Gray guided me through a long and extended process that would have been much more difficult had it not been for their patience and constant support.”

Ifan Lewis

Excellent and efficient service. Great result achieved, highly professional and transparent on pricing. Would recommend.”

David Stevens

Superb legal service provided. Exceeded expectations. They went above and beyond in order to provide the best service possible.”

Huw Pickrell

Very professional and understanding. They were a calming influence in a very troubling situation and they brought it to a very successful conclusion”

Rachel Jones

We have used Darwin Gray and have been seriously impressed. The personal approach is what Darwin Gray are excelling on and is the reason why we will continue to work with them in the future.”

Cadwyn Housing Association