If you own, manage or operate a business, you will need to comply with fire safety law.
The main law is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) also known as “The Fire Safety Order” which applies across England and Wales. It applies to virtually all buildings, places and structures other than individual private dwellings, such as houses occupied by one household.
The Fire Safety Order requires the responsible person (the employer, person with control of the premises or the owner) to ensure fire safety is properly considered, managed and implemented in the premises. The first step for a responsible person to achieve this is by way of a fire risk assessment.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority is an Enforcing Authority and has a number of appointed fire safety inspecting officers who carry out fire safety audits.
From 1st October 2023, new fire safety legislation comes into effect. This will mean that many businesses and building owners need to check if and how this affects them to ensure they are complying with the regulations. The main changes are:
- All businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of
employees, and size or type of business.
- There are increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi occupied
buildings or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.
- In residential buildings with two or more domestic premises residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe.
If the inspecting officer identifies any fire safety deficiencies, they have a range of options available to address the deficiencies:
Good Will Advice – Usually verbal advice on further things you can do to improve on what you already are.
Notification of Fire Safety Deficiencies – where ‘low’ risk deficiencies have been identified and can be remedied quickly and without real cost implications.
Agreed Action Plan – Where fire safety deficiencies have been identified and need to be remedied. Agreement is in place remedial work will be completed.
Enforcement Notice – Where serious fire safety deficiencies have been identified or deficiencies from a previous Agreed Action Plan have not been completed. An Enforcement Notice is a legal notice. It specifies a time frame in which remedial work must be complete. If you fail to comply with an enforcement notice you may be prosecuted.
Prohibition Notice – Is a legal notice. Where there is a serious and imminent risk to life Fire Safety Inspecting Officers can prohibit or restrict the use of premises. If you continue to use the premises against the prohibition / restriction you may be prosecuted.
Alterations Notice – Is a legal notice requiring you to inform South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue before making any specific changes within the premises. If you do not inform us of such changes you may be prosecuted.
Inspecting Officers will make decisions in line with our Enforcement Policy.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue can also prosecute for fire safety breaches, failure to comply with a notice or obstructing an inspecting officer.