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Responsible Person and Duty Holder: Fire Safety Responsibilities

This Home Office document describes the role and responsibilities of the Responsible Person and the Duty Holder under the Fire Safety Order, providing more information on the responsibilities identified in the guidance. Check your fire safety responsibilities under the Fire Safety Order.

A Responsible Person includes the following:

  • Employers (for workplace premises): this may be an individual or a company and includes family-run businesses who may not naturally see themselves as a traditional employer.

  • People with control of the premises: this can include occupiers or people conducting business, trade or other undertakings, or where it is not a workplace or there is no employer.

  • Owners: this is where neither of the above applies and the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking. It can include the non-domestic parts of multi-occupied residential buildings where there is no management agent contracted to manage the building. It also includes unoccupied buildings which the Fire Safety Order applies to.

The document details the fire safety measures to be taken by Responsible Persons. The Responsible Person must comply with Articles 8 to 22 and 38 of the Fire Safety Order and any regulations made under article 24 as relevant, which set out how you ensure fire safety throughout your premises including a requirement to complete a fire risk assessment.

Duty Holders

Duty Holders are responsible for complying with the Fire Safety Order to the extent of their obligation. Responsibilities will depend on the circumstances and level of control you have over the premises.

Duty Holders may include, but are not restricted to:

  • A fire risk assessor – where the Responsible Person chooses to contract the services of a specialist to undertake the risk assessment on their behalf.

  • A fire alarm engineer.


As an employee you should follow fire safety measures put in place and co–operate with your employer to help them comply with their duties.

If an employee identifies something dangerous, they must let their employer know.

The full guidance can be found here.

Home Office July 2021


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