Commercial property fire safety responsibilities.

Commercial property fire safety responsibilities.

11:13 AM, 4th February 2015, About 9 years ago 2

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I’m about to rent a commercial property to run an out of school club. Who is responsible for the fire safety equipment, eg, fire alarm, fire exits and smoke alarms.

There is a rented flat over the premises that someone else rents at present. Any answers or where to go for answers would be much appreciated.


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Neil Patterson

11:19 AM, 4th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Hi Beverley,

From the .gov site:

"1. Who's responsible

If you’re an owner, landlord or occupier of business or other non-domestic premises, you’ll be responsible for fire safety. You’re known as the ‘responsible person’.

As the responsible person you must:

carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
plan for an emergency
provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

You can read about how to make sure your premises are safe from fire.
Non-domestic premises

Non-domestic premises are:

all workplaces and commercial premises
all premises the public have access to
the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings

Shared premises

In shared premises it’s likely there’ll be more than one responsible person. You’ll need to co-ordinate your fire safety plans to make sure people on or around the premises are safe.

For common or shared areas, the responsible person is the landlord, freeholder or managing agent."

As a Landlord you will be responsible for renting a property that conforms to all fire safety regs. To check this I have found the fire department to be very helpful.

Then the tenant will be responsible for making sure its staff and customers are safe especially as there will be kids there.

Mike Tighe

12:14 PM, 4th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Hi Beverly, just to add to Neil's comments, check your lease carefully.
If you are on a full repairing and insuring lease it would be normal for you to be responsible for maintaining everything within your part of the building, but not the shared/common areas. Either way you, need to carry out (or pay to have one carried out) a full Fire Risk Assessment which would normally be reviewed annually. This will take account of the building itself and what it is used for. Fire alarms should ideally be serviced 6 monthly, fire fighting equipment serviced annually. You should keep a fire safety log book and record weekly fire alarm checks, staff/volunteer training, monthly emergency lighting checks etc.... this should all be detailed in the assessment.
To find someone to do your fire risk assessment contact your local fire office or look on google for local suppliers of fire safety equipment (alarms, extinguishers etc) and they will normally do this for you for a moderate fee (depending on size of building but shouldn't cost more than £2-300). If the landlord hasn't done one for the rest of the building he might share the cost with you to do the whole place.
Good Luck with the project.

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