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WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CARRYING OUT A FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT?
PUBLISHED By The Fire Protection Association.
20 January 2021
Who is responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) states that almost all types of premises – unless a single domestic dwelling
– must be subject to a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. It is the duty of the ‘Responsible Person’ to take general fire
precautions as far as reasonably practicable under the RRO Part 2 to ensure the premises is safe for all relevant persons and to
reduce the risk of harm and prevent fire.
The ‘Relevant Persons’ are defined in the RRO Part 1 Article 2.
Any person (including the Responsible Person) who is or may be lawfully on the premises.
Any person in the immediate vicinity of the premises who is at risk from a fire on the premises but does not include a fire-fighter
who is carrying out his duties in relation to a function of a fire and rescue authority under section 7, 8 or 9 of the Fire and Rescue
Services Act 2004.
The ‘Responsible Person’ is defined in the RRO Part 1 Article 3.
The 4 types of fire risk assessment
The RRO does not expand on how intrusive a fire safety risk assessment should be.
Type 1 Fire Risk Assessments are the most common type and is a non-destructive assessment of the common areas of the
building only and does not include access to the private dwellings. In some instances, it may be requested by the client to
inspect the front door of the private dwellings as part of the assessment.
Type 2 Fire Risk Assessments are similar to Type 1 assessments of the common areas of the buildings only. Type 2 assessments
should only be carried out if there is good reason to believe the structural compartmentation is flawed as this involves a
contractor sampling the construction, carrying out any fire stopping afterwards.
Type 3 Fire Risk Assessments are non-destructive assessments which cover beyond the requirements of legislation and consider
the individual dwellings in addition to the common parts.
Type 4 Fire Risk Assessments are similar to Type 3 assessments in the individual dwellings and common parts. Like Type 2, Type
4 assessments should only be carried out if there is good reason to believe the structural compartmentation in both the
common areas and individual dwellings are flawed and will again involve a contractor sampling the construction in the areas in
It is important to stress, the above types ONLY apply to domestic dwellings and not commercial properties. If the existing
compartmentation is insufficient and as a result people are at risk, the emergency plan for the premises should be reviewed by a
DSEAR risk assessments
Similar to fire risk assessments, the RRO Schedule 1 Parts 1 and 4 Articles 9 and 12 states that where dangerous substances are
held on site, the ‘Responsible Person’ must apply measures to control the risks they pose. The Dangerous Substances and
Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002 provides advice on best practise and is supported by the Approved Code of
The objective of a DSEAR risk assessment is to enhance the safety of occupants through the elimination or by reducing the risks
of fire, explosion and other risks relating to dangerous substances and potentially explosive atmospheres.
As of June 2015, gases under pressure and substances which are corrosive to metals are also included under the legislation.