The Audit Process
Business Fire Safety – COVID19
Due to the requirement of the Service to continue with its statutory duty; GFRS have moved to a desk top audit process for all its inspections.
The team of Business Fire Safety Inspectors are now contacting businesses by telephone and working through a virtual visit check sheet, asking the relevant questions to ensure that the business stays safe in line with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
If a business was due a visit they will now receive a call and opportunity to discuss their business and fire safety arrangements, with the experienced Officer signposting them to the relevant websites and guidance documents they need to ensure they are still compliant.
In extreme cases adhering to health guidance an Officer may visit and inspect a site, if their concerns about fire safety are above those that can be dealt with virtually.
Please visit https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/glosfire/business-safety/ for more commercial business advice.
What is a fire safety audit?
We may visit your premises and undertake a fire safety audit which is usually prearranged and all fire safety inspectors will be in uniform and carry identification.
The audit is an examination of the premises and relevant documents to ascertain how the premises are being managed regarding fire safety. The inspector may also wish to talk to members of staff to confirm their level of fire safety awareness.
The emphasis is on the responsible person demonstrating they have met the duties required by the fire safety order. For this reason we may ask to see the following documents as evidence.
- A suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment by a competent person
- Action plans related to any significant findings of the fire risk assessment
- Emergency plans for the premises (what to do in the event of a fire)
- Preventative and protective measures regarding fire
- Fire drills and staff fire training records (who, when, and what training)
- Fire safety maintenance checklist (what is checked, by who, and when)
- Staff information on fire safety and dangerous substances.
- Evidence that the following have been tested by a competent person:- Fire detection and warning system; Emergency lighting; Sprinkler System; Ventilation System; Firefighting equipment; Electrical wiring in the building; Portable appliance testing.
The above list is not exhaustive and other evidence may be required depending on the circumstances.
What happens after the Audit?
Once the audit is complete one of the following happens:
- Everything is satisfactory and there is no further correspondence.
- There are items that need to be addressed; the fire safety inspector will send a letter of non-compliance with a report listing the items to be addressed.
- There are items that need to be addressed promptly; the fire safety inspector will send a letter of non-compliance with a report listing the items to be addressed with a date for them to be completed by. The fire safety inspector will return to check. If nothing has been done an enforcement notice may be issued.
- There are items that need to be addressed urgently the fire inspector will issue an Enforcement Notice with a schedule listing the items to be addressed and a date to be completed by, and will return to check.
- If the fire safety inspector is of the opinion that use of the premises involves or will involve a risk to relevant persons so serious that use of the premises ought to be prohibited or restricted, a Prohibition Notice will be issued, this would take effect immediately.
The Fire and Rescue Service may also issue an Alterations Notice this would require the responsible person to inform the fire authority of changes to the premises.
The responsible person has the right of appeal to a magistrates court within 21 days of the issuing of a notice.
Failure to meet requirements of the Fire Safety Order, an Alterations Notice, an Enforcement Notice or a Prohibition Notice may lead to the responsible person being prosecuted.
Please visit https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/glosfire/business-safety/ or download our Business Fire Safety leaflet for more commercial business advice