Preparing for a visit from your local Fire and Rescue Authority
31st January, 2018
So you find out that the local Fire and Rescue Service are coming to call! What next?
Unfortunately, we often meet our customers for the first time if they are experiencing a safety issue in their workplace or have received notification of an impending visit from their local Fire and Rescue Service. Or even worse, they could already have received a notice from the authorities, requiring improvements of varying degrees.
The type of actions the Fire and Rescue Authority can take
1. Alterations Notice
The Fire and Rescue Authority could issue you with an Alteration Notice if they discover there are safety issues on your premises. These tend to be low-level risks that must be addressed to comply with the Fire Safety Order. The notice will usually arrive in the form of a letter detailing what you as a business owner are required to do to keep your site and employees safe. If you comply, it’s unlikely the Fire and Rescue Authority will make a return visit.
2. Enforcement Notice
You could get an Enforcement Notice if the Fire and Rescue Authority find a serious risk that’s not being managed. You are likely to receive this notice in the form of an action plan which will detail the issues raised and will provide a timescale for the works to be rectified. The Fire and Rescue Authority will usually revisit your premises to ensure that these issues have been solved within a set time, usually three months.
3. Prohibition Notice
A Prohibition Notice is issued in serious circumstances where serious fire and safety breaches are discovered. It will take immediate effect if the Fire and Rescue Authority think the risk is so great that access to your premises needs to be completely prohibited or restricted in certain areas. The issues raised will need to be resolved immediately before you can continue to trade. In cases where you have people living on the premises, they may be closed and the occupants evicted.
What can you do?
Having a comprehensive fire risk assessment in place will help you understand any fire safety issues you might face and will help you put suitable measures in place to prevent accidents and serious incidents happening.
Related Article: How a Fire Risk Assessment Can Save You Money
Clients often tell us that having a fire risk assessment in place and keeping it up to date can often feel stressful and time consuming in addition to their core business. But all companies who employ more than five people are legally obliged to have a fire risk assessment. We can make the process stress-free and straightforward. And after all, prevention is better than a cure. If the advice and guidance in your fire risk assessment is followed, it may also prevent a visit from the Fire and Rescue Authority as well as a potentially devastating fire.
For further advice about your fire risk assessment or a notice you may have received from the Fire and Rescue Authority, call us on 0843 658 1310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.