The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a statutory responsibility on a ‘Responsible Person’ to make sure the necessary level of fire precautions are in place in all premises, apart from a single private home. This could be a place of work (eg office or factory) or houses which are available to let, and the ‘Responsible Person could be the employer, owner, occupier or landlord.
Legislation requires the ‘Responsible Person’ to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the premise(s) and to act upon its findings.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has a statutory duty to assess the level and appropriateness of fire protection measures in business premises across the county, in order to keep local people and property safe.
Our Fire Protection department has therefore developed a management strategy and a risk-based inspection programme to enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
The department includes teams of inspectors who are responsible for different sections of the county. They have a range of duties which are designed to be flexible to the different circumstances and risks they may find. These include:
- Fire safety audit. This comprehensive inspection gathers a variety of data and information to ascertain compliance with the Fire Safety Order, and includes calculating the ‘relative risk level’, establishing risk profiles and collecting details about site risk which could be useful if firefighters are called to an emergency incident at the scene.
- Thematic inspection. This is a shorter inspection to assess the general risk and identify future actions.
- Follow-up inspection. This assesses the progress which has been made.
- Peak risk inspection. This will be carried out at a time that reflects the potential maximum risk (usually at night) to assess the systems and protocols that are in place. For example, a care home is at greatest risk at night when residents are asleep and staffing levels are at a minimum.
- Specific inspection. This is usually unplanned and focuses on a specific identified risk, eg a complaint received about the means of escape from a property. Sometimes this information is passed to us from other enforcing authorities, eg local councils.
- Statutory and other consultation. These are received from various ‘Responsible Authorities’, eg Building Control, Approved Inspectors and the Licensing Authority.
These inspections are aimed at reducing the risk and impact of fire on the community, safeguarding our firefighters, heritage and environment. This, in turn, will reduce the loss to life, injuries, commercial, economic and social costs.
We aim to work in support of local businesses to make sure their premises are safe, however, we will take legal enforcement action where necessary to make sure the appropriate work is carried out.