If you are a business owner with premises you need to bear in mind that the Local Authority Fire Service can visit your premises to carry out a fire safety audit to ensure the responsible person is meeting their duties as required under the Fire Safety Order 2005.
Fire Service Audit
During the visit you may be asked to show the following documentation:
A current up to date Fire Risk Assessment
Emergency plans for your premises
Preventative and Protective measures in relation to fire safety you have in place.
Records of Staff Training and Fire Drills
Fire Safety Maintenance Check-lists
Information on Hazardous Substances and their storage.
Records of fire equipment checks and servicing carried out.
The above list is not exhaustive depends on the size of your business, premises and quantity of employees but should be used as a general guideline of what is expected.
After the audit if everything is satisfactory then no further action is needed and you should carry on maintaining your fire safety needs as you have been changing as necessary.
Fire Service Letter of Non-compliance
If there have been issues identified you will be sent a letter of non-compliance listing the issues found and a time frame of when they are expected to be rectified. If serious issues are found that may cause harm to occupants should the building continue to be used a prohibition notice will be issued and takes effect immediately. The premises cannot normally used until rectifications have made been made. If you are on the receiving end of either notice it is your opportunity to put the issues right becoming legally complaint and safe once again.
Fire Service Enforcement
Choose to do nothing then you will be subject to enforcement proceedings and you may well find yourself been prosecuted. Enforcement proceedings will only take place should you ignore either the letter of compliance or prohibition notice. You always be given the chance to rectify any issues found.
The easiest way to avoid any type of notice and ensure an audit goes well should you be subject to one is to make sure you have all the required documentation and that relevant equipment checks have been carried out accordingly. If you are unsure about what is required please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice.