How the scheme works for fire safety
The Primary Authority scheme allows your business to form a legal partnership with a fire and rescue authority.
Your chosen Primary Authority fire service can then provide you with assured advice that will make it easier and simpler to comply with fire safety law.
Any business can participate in Primary Authority, whether it’s an established business or you’re just starting out.
You can also have a coordinated partnership designed to help those businesses that operate as part of a group, such as franchisees or members of a trade association.
Choosing a Primary Authority partner
You can choose which fire and rescue service you would like to enter a Primary Authority Scheme with. You don’t need to choose the fire and rescue service nearest to your office or headquarters.
You may choose us for a Primary Authority scheme because your head office is in Devon or Somerset or you have the greatest number of outlets in our area.
A Primary Authority Scheme is a partnership arrangement. Take time to ensure that the fire and rescue service you choose is right for your business and can offer what you are hoping to get out of the scheme.
Setting up a Primary Authority partnership with us
If you’d like to discuss setting up a Primary Authority partnership and how we can support your business, please complete our online enquiry form.
Taking part in Primary Authority can give your business greater confidence in your regulated activities and reduce your risk of breaking the law.
Primary Authority advice can help your business understand:
- how legal requirements apply to you
- how you can comply with the law
- whether the controls you have in place are acceptable.
Primary Authority Advice can be ‘general’ or ‘assured’. Assured advice means that if you follow the advice you are given, your business should be protected against the risk of enforcement action from other enforcing authorities that may have different views on what you should be doing to achieve compliance.
Your Primary Authority can provide you with an inspection plan. This sets out how enforcing officers should inspect your business.
We can recover our costs for developing and providing Primary Authority advice, and for work that we do to support our partnership activities. We are not able to make a profit from the provision of partnership support and all costs under Primary Authority are excluded from value-added taxation (VAT).
The cost of joining the scheme will depend on a variety of factors, such as but not limited to:
- the size of the business
- the geographical area covered
- the built environment and complexity
- the level and complexity of support requested or required.
Many businesses find that the cost of Primary Authority support is beneficial compared to attaining bespoke regulatory advice from other sources – and brings benefits that potentially are not attainable elsewhere.
Further information is available on the government website at:
- Local regulation: Primary Authority
- Primary Authority: a guide for businesses
- Primary Authority: a guide for trade associations
- Primary Authority: a guide for businesses with a co-ordinated Primary Authority
- Primary Authority Overview
You can also read more about primary authority partnerships on the National Fire Chiefs Council website.