Your Duties as a Responsible Person and Fire Safety Guidance

This UK Government guidance (opens in a new tab) explains what a responsible person is, and the legal duties that a responsible person has.


If you have identified that you are a responsible person or someone with duties under fire safety legislation, these UK Government guides (opens in a new tab) with help you to:

  • Understand what you need to do to comply with fire safety law.

  • Carry out and review a fire risk assessment.

  • Identify the general fire precautions you need to put in place and maintain.

The linked documents have been written to guide a responsible person through the process of carrying out a fire risk assessment in less complex offices and shops. If you read the guides and decide that you are unable to apply the guidance, then you should seek expert advice from a competent person. It is likely that more complex premises will need to be assessed by a person who has comprehensive training or experience in fire risk assessment, however, these guides can be used for multi-occupied buildings to address fire safety issues within their individual occupancies.

Fire risk assessment

The risk assessment process involves an inspection of the premises to identify potential fire hazards, to ensure adequate measures to stop fires starting and the adequate fire protection measures are in place to protect everyone in the building.

You can carry out a fire risk assessment yourself as a responsible person if you are competent. Competency is defined as having the relevant knowledge, training, and experience. If your premises is outside of your competency to carry out a fire risk assessment, you should seek advice from a competent person.

For small, simpler premises the UK Government’s guidance on the 5-step fire risk assessment checklist (opens in a new tab) and other premises specific small premises guidance is available. If your non-domestic premises falls outside the scope of these guides, you should base your fire precautions, and your fire risk assessment, on the most relevant guide from the suite of relevant UK Government fire safety guidance (opens in a new tab). UK Government Means of Escape for Disabled Persons guidance is a supplementary guide and should be read alongside other UK Government Fire Safety Guidance. It provides additional information on accessibility and means of escape for disabled people.

Guidance on choosing a competent fire risk assessor

If you do appoint a fire risk assessor, we recommend you ensure they are competent to do so, in terms of having sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities. It remains the case that the Responsible Person has a duty to make sure that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment is completed.

Please see this guidance on choosing a competent fire risk assessor (opens file in a new tab).

Additional Guidance


Care organisations

Other buildings and premises


Arson prevention