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Fire safety inspections

As an enforcing Authority, the Service regularly conduct fire safety inspections in non-domestic premises where people work, visit and stay.


We identify premises to inspect using a risk based inspection program. We target our resources where we know or perceive there to be a higher risk. Premises may also come to our attention for other reasons, such as, following a fire or a fire safety concern.


We recognise that most businesses and individuals will wish to comply with the law. We will assist and advise wherever possible while taking firm and appropriate action against those who flout the law or act irresponsibly.

What to expect during an inspection

During an inspection, we aim to establish whether your premises are safe in case of fire. We will ask questions and may ask you to provide evidence to support your answers.

We will consider the following:

  • What you are doing to reduce the risk of fire.
  • What you are doing to reduce the risk of the spread of fire.
  • Are there enough escape routes (corridors, stairs and doors) for people in case of fire.
  • What you are doing to make sure that escape routes (corridors, stairs and doors) are safe to use when needed.
  • What you are doing to detect fire and raise an alarm.
  • Whether people understand what to do if fire breaks out.
  • What you are doing to fight outbreaks of fire safely.
  • What you are doing to ensure that the effects of a fire are as small as possible.
  • How you maintain your fire safety measures.

We will look at the fire safety standards in all or parts of the premises. We will consider the fire safety measures currently provided against recognised standards. We may also wish to talk to employees to confirm their level of fire safety awareness.


If your business is registered with a Primary Authority for fire safety, please tell us at the earliest opportunity.


For further information you may wish to read our Enforcement Policy Statement (PDF).

Fire Safety Inspectors


All of our officers who carry out inspections under the Fire Safety Order carry photo identification and an authorisation card. If you receive an unannounced inspection, you can ask to see their identification. Our officers will also be happy to explain our powers and rights to you.


If you would like to confirm the identity of one of our officers you can call us on 01392 872567, Monday to Friday (9 am to 5 pm). For out of hours officer verification please phone 0333 399 0014.


Not all of our inspecting officers wear a uniform or drive a marked vehicle but they are always willing to show you identification and explain the reason for the visit.

Powers of Inspectors


Article 27 of the Fire Safety Order states an inspector may enter any premises at any reasonable time where he or she believes it is necessary to inspect the whole or part of the premises and anything in them where that entry and inspection may be effected without the use of force.


A copy of the Fire Safety Order can be viewed at legislation.gov.uk

Inspections during Covid-19


As an Authority we are committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of both our staff and members of our communities, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.


In the current situation we are following government guidance on limiting non-essential contact and, as such, we are taking a risk-based approach to all business fire safety activity. Unless circumstances justify otherwise, the Authority will only inspect premises that are deemed 'COVID SECURE'.


Where it is deemed necessary to undertake a physical inspection of the premises, the Authority will provide 48 hours' notice, when it is appropriate and practical to do so.


To minimise time spent at your premises, we may ask for information upfront, such as:

  • your Fire Risk Assessment
  • premises plan
  • emergency evacuation plan
  • testing and maintenance certificates/records
  • staff training plan

In addition, a robust Health and Safety risk assessment has been carried out with specific control measures put in place to ensure the safety of our staff and members of the public during our visit. These control measures include the following but are not limited to the listed matters:-

  • A minimum practicable number of officers will be used to carry out the inspection.
  • Officers will not have any indications of Covid-19 prior to the inspection.
  • We will be utilising PPE as necessary, i.e. gloves, face covering etc.
  • Regular hand washing and sanitising will be undertaken.
  • We will be trying, as far as practicable, to limit contact with surfaces.
  • We will be limiting contact with other people during the inspection.
  • We will be, where possible, maintaining social distancing throughout the inspection in accordance with the UK Government guidelines.

In some cases, where it is considered appropriate to do so, an officer will conduct the inspection by phone and this will be explained to you at the time of the call.


For further information on how to keep your premises safe read our latest advice on how to ensure the ongoing safety of your premises during coronavirus.

 


All our safety information can be made available in other languages. Please contact 0800 050 2999 to request a copy.

 

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