Enforcement Policy Statement
All enforcement actions will be taken in compliance with the Enforcement Management Model and the Enforcement Concordat.
The Protection Group will only carry out an audit of the management premises that fall into the following categories:
- Premises that have a High Risk to the life of the occupants should a fire occur.
- Premises that have recently experienced a fire or been the subject of an arson attack.
- Premises that have experienced an excessive number of fire alarm signals that have turned out to be false alarms.
- Premises that have been subject to a fire safety complaint from a member of the public, a partner agency or an operational crew.
- Premises selected as a consequence of thematic reviews.
Protection Enforcing Officers
Fire Safety Enforcing Officers are issued with a warrant, which will be shown to you on request. This warrant gives the Enforcing Officers powers to at any reasonable time, to do the following:
To enter any premises and to inspect the whole or part of the premises and anything in them;
To make such enquiry as may be necessary to ascertain whether the provisions of this order have been complied with and to identify the responsible person in relation to the premises:
- To require the production of any records, and to take copies of any entry in the records, which are required under any provision of the Order or for the purposes of examination;
- To require any person to give such facilities and assistance to enable the inspector to exercise the powers conferred by the Order;
- To take samples of any articles or substances found on the premises for the purposes of ascertaining their fire resistance or flammability; and
- In the case of any article or substance, to cause it to be dismantled or subjected to any process or test.
Enforcing Officers may take action in several ways to deal with a breach of the legislation. This includes the following:
Notification Of Fire Safety Deficiencies Form
Where the Authority are of the opinion that you have failed to comply with any requirements imposed on you by the Order but the breach is considered not to warrant service of an Enforcement Notice the above notification will be sent to you by the Enforcing Officer. The notification letter will identify the matters to address, and the steps considered necessary to remedy them.
The Notification of Fire Safety Deficiencies letter is not an Enforcement Notice. It identifies deficiencies, required to be addressed to meet your legal obligations under the Order.
As the responsible person you will be given a reasonable period of time in which to remedy to the deficiencies.
Where the Authority considers premises constitute a serious risk to persons, whether due to the features of the premises, their use, any hazard present, or any other circumstances; or premises may constitute such a risk if a change is made to them, or the use to which they are put, it may serve on you, as the responsible person, an Alterations Notice.
Where an Alterations Notice has been served, you must notify the Authority of your intentions to make changes that include:
- a change to the premises;
- a change to the services, fittings or equipment in or on the premises;
- an increase in the quantities of dangerous substances which are in or on the premises;
- a change to the use of the premises which may result in a significant increase in risk,
Where the Authority are of the opinion that, as a person being under an obligation to do so, you have failed to comply with the requirements placed upon you by the Order and that an Enforcement Notice is appropriate in the circumstances you will be served with an Enforcement Notice.
Attached to the Notice will be a schedule specifying the matters that, in the opinion of the Authority, constitute failure(s) to comply with the Order.
The schedule will also identify the steps that must be taken within a specified time frame to remedy the specified failure(s), to ensure that you comply with the Order. You may however apply for an extension of time.
You have a right of appeal and information on how to do this would be included with the enforcement notice.
It is an offence not to comply with the steps identified in the schedule to the notice, within the time scale specified in the notice. In these circumstances the Authority may consider a prosecution against you.
Where the inspector considers that the use of the premises involves, or will involve, a risk to persons on the premises in the event of fire so serious that use of the premises ought to be prohibited or restricted, then the Authority may serve a Prohibition Notice. The notice may prohibit or restrict the use of the premises or part there of immediately or after a specified time and not allow it to be used until remedial action has been taken. The notice will explain why the action is necessary.
Notice Under Article 37 (Fire-Fighters’ Switches For Luminous Tube Signs)
Where apparatus to which this article applies has been installed or an installation is proposed in or on the premises, the Authority may serve a Notice of requirements, relating to the position, colour and marking of the cut-off switch, on the responsible person.
The Authority will consider prosecution where, there is failure to comply with the fire safety duties imposed by the Order and that failure has put one or more relevant persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire. In addition if there has been a failure to comply with any requirement or restriction imposed by a notice issued under the Order, then again consideration will be given to prosecution.
Failure to comply with the fire safety duties imposed by this Order or with any requirement or restriction imposed by a notice issued under this Order, is a criminal offence under Article 32 of the Order. A person guilty of such an offence shall be liable
- on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or
- on conviction on indictment, to a fine, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.
Any person found guilty of an offence under any requirement imposed by Article 37 in respect of luminous tube signs is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
A person on whom an Alterations Notice, an Enforcement Notice, a Prohibition Notice or a Notice given by the Authority under Article 37 (fire-fighters’ switches for luminous tube signs) is served may, within 21 days from which the Notice is served, appeal by way of complaint for an order to a magistrates’ court.