There are varying levels of responsibility and this is a very misunderstood area of fire safety, especially in the workplace.
It is often the case, that managers and landlords think they are escaping responsibility by electing others to carry out the duty of managing the fire safety within a business or residential property.
For those that choose not to educate themselves will think that by hiring a company like the Brighton based fire alarm company "The Fire Guy" to manage their fire alarm systems will keep them from prosecution in the event of a fire.
Unfortunately for them, this is far from the truth and many landlords and business owners have been imprisoned or fined as a result of their actions, or non-actions.
Who is the responsible person?
You are responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re:
Anyone else with control of the premises for example. facilities managers, building managers, managing agents or risk assessors are all considered a ‘responsible person’.
As we move away from the label of 'Responsible persons', we move to a level below responsible person and that would probably be 'the fire marshall, competent person, safety officer etc".
It does not really matter what name this safety role carries as your level of responsibility would probably be taken into consideration in the event of a legal hearing.
The role of the fire warden would involve managing the paperwork and overseeing all the day to day things such as fire safety checks on doors, extinguishers, signage and escape routes etc.
the designated safety person/s may also be in charge of training other staff, organising contractors to carry out fire safety checks or testing the alarms.
A fire warden may need help in their role and nominate other staff members, especially in larger organisations, these helpers are often called fire wardens or competent persons.
A fire Marshal should have adequate training to carry out their duty, and pass on their knowledge to their helpers and other staff members, but unfortunately, it is far too often, not the case.
These roles are passed on to staff wanting to move up the ladder or to do a better job for the company, but there is little interest in training a fire warden or allowing time to research their role.
It is the responsibility of all people to bring any problems to the attention of those with higher authority and to ensure the safety of others.
The role of the fire warden
Reviewing the fire risks
Telling staff and representatives about these risks.
Putting in place fire safety measures for these risks.
Planning and practising for emergencies
In the event of a prosecution for fire safety breaches, all persons involved in the running of the building and the business will be seen as responsible. Unfortunately, it is a game of cover your arse or pass the buck.
To read or understand more about the roles of involved in fire safety in the work place.
Download The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Link to webpage. FSO 2005