For emergencies

FAQs About The Fire Service

Answers to the most common questions

The Fire Service

We have 19 strategically placed stations across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. They are located at (listed in alphabetical order): Amersham, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Brill, Broughton, Buckingham, Chesham, Gerrards Cross, Great Missenden, Haddenham, High Wycombe, Marlow, Newport Pagnell, Olney, Princes Risborough, Stokenchurch, Waddesdon, West Ashland and Winslow. Details about our fire stations and their locations can be found on our ‘About Us‘ page.

A beeping or chirping smoke alarm can indicate a fault with the battery or sensor within it. Although the smoke alarm may continue to work in the short term when the beep is intermittent, the cause of the beeping needs to be investigated and if necessary the smoke alarm should be replaced.

Further reading

If you are concerned about a possible fire risk, please let us know. Our fire safety inspectors will investigate or give advice as appropriate. Please contact the local fire safety office with as much information as you can. If the concern is serious and outside of normal working hours, dial 999.
– Location is in Wycombe or South Bucks, please click here.
– Location is in Aylesbury or South Bucks, please click here.
– Location is in Milton Keynes, please click here.

As a regulatory authority we can not recommend a training provider or provide training. There are many organisations that provide training either at a central venue, or your business. When selecting a provider and course, consider any significant findings from your fire risk assessment and your procedures.

As a regulatory authority we are not allowed to provide training or conduct risk assessments as this could lead to a conflict of interest.

No. Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service are statutory consultees, which means that we are consulted by the Local Authority Building Control or Approved Inspector responsible for signing off the construction work. We are notified of all building work through this process, so you only need to deal with one point of contact.

As a regulatory authority we are not allowed to recommend or endorse any particular business or provider. There are companies who can supply this kind of equipment, and the following UK trade organisations can provide advice:
Association for Specialist Fire Protection
British Woodworking Federation
Glass and Glazing Federation
Door and Hardware Federation
British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association

No, although you may be required to obtain permission or a Temporary Event Notice from your Local Authority Licensing team.

You do not need to get permission from the fire service to put on a public firework display. These sorts of events are licensed by the Local Authority, so you do need to contact them, and follow any instructions they give. Sales of fireworks are regulated by Trading Standards.

We can give advice on how to comply with your duties under the Fire Safety Order, however we cannot fulfil these duties on your behalf. If you are still unsure, it may be worth employing a Competent Person to conduct the risk assessment for you.

Yes. You are responsible not only for yourself, but also the people that enter your premises. You must ensure that there are adequate fire safety arrangements. As you hold a licence to sell alcohol, you must also record the findings in a fire risk assessment.

Yes. You must protect yourself and anyone else in the vicinity of your business from fire. To do this you must assess the risks and make general fire precautions. However, you are not required to record the findings of your assessment unless you employ five or more people, hold a licence issued by another authority, or are told to do so in a Notice from the Fire Authority.

The Responsible Person is required to:
– Carry out, or nominate someone to carry out, a Fire Risk Assessment identifying the risks and hazards
– Consider who may be at risk
– Eliminate/reduce the risk from fire as far as is reasonably practical, and provide general fire precautions to deal with any residual risk
– Take additional measures where flammable or explosive materials are used or stored
– Create a plan to deal with any emergency and document the findings
– Review the findings

You must:
– Take general fire precautions
– Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment identifying the general fire precautions
– Apply the principles of prevention, implementing fire safety measures
– Plan, organise, control, monitor, review fire safety measures
– Eliminate/reduce risks
– Maintain fire safety equipment and devices
– Provide fire safety information and training to employees
And ensure premises:
– Are equipped with firefighting equipment
– Have fire detectors and alarms
– Have safe emergency routes and exits
– Have safe procedures to follow
– Have additional measures for dangerous substances

The Fire Safety Order applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure, and open space. For example:
– Offices and shops
– Premises that provide care
– Community halls
– Common areas of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
– Pubs, clubs and restaurants
– Schools
– Tents and marquees
– Hotels and hostels
– Factories and warehouses
It does not apply to domestic premises occupied by a single family.

Yes. You must protect yourself and anyone else in the vicinity of your business from fire. To do this you must assess the risks and make general fire precautions. However, you are not required to record the findings of your assessment, unless you employ five or more people across your company, hold a license issued by another authority, or are told to do so in a Notice from the Fire Authority.

You should contact your local waste disposal site and enquire about local policies. Please do not bring old or unwanted fire extinguishers to a fire station.

Unfortunately we do not offer this service. Your extinguishers may be leased and/or be under a maintenance contract and initially this should be looked into. There are many companies which offer these services and we would recommend looking for those who are part of a trade organisations such as the Fire Industry Association or Fire Extinguishing Trades Association.

You should look at the appropriate guide for your type of business premises and judge the appropriate type of extinguisher based upon the risks. In general though you should provide one fire extinguisher for every 200m2, with at least two extinguishers on each floor.
If you operate within a very small premises, and only occupy one floor, then one extinguisher appropriate to the level of risk may be ok. Guidance should be sought from a competent fire extinguisher provider.

Yes. You should test your business fire alarm once a week. You should test a different call point each time. The result of this test should be recorded. Your alarm must be tested twice per year by a competent alarm engineer.

Yes. Emergency lighting should be tested once a month to ensure that it is working and the findings of the test recorded. Emergency lighting should also be tested once a year by a competent person.

Gas cylinders for barbecues and patio heaters need to be stored, handled and used properly. Store gas cylinders in an upright position outside of the home, away from drains, heat, and sources of ignition. Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service does not enforce the storage of gas cylinders at domestic addresses. Concerns about gas cylinder storage should be referred to the Environmental Health department local to the address.

High hedges are not a fire safety concern, they are an issue to address in the first instance with the person whose land the hedge is on. If this is unsuccessful and the high hedge meets certain criteria, you can ask your council for a complaint form, but be aware that you may need to pay the council a fee to consider your complaint.

Bonfires can be a fire risk, so we would always recommend looking for alternative ways to get rid of your waste. Some areas of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are designated smoke free areas which means that you will need to check with your local council if a restriction affects your address. You do not need to notify Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service of your intent to have a bonfire.

Further reading

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service regularly receives complaints about nuisance parking, despite having no power to regulate it. Concerns about parking that poses an immediate danger to the public, such as preventing an emergency vehicle from accessing a street, should be reported to Thames Valley Police online or by calling the non-emergency number 101.

Further reading