The fire and rescue authorities visit non-domestic premises. They check fire risk assessments and fire prevention measures for safety and efficiency.
Besides enforcing the rules, fire safety officers will help you understand how to comply with them.
They will take action if they think believe the fire safety measures are inadequate.
If the officers issue an informal notice it will suggest the need for some improved safety measures.
But, in some cases they may issue a formal fire safety notice. If so, they will also inform you how to fix the problems detailed in the notice.
As a rule, premises with high safety risks can get an alterations notice. The same may apply if there are high safety risks due to a changed use of the business or non-domestic premises.
The fire and rescue authority can issue an enforcement notice if they find a serious fire risk that does not get managed as it should. If so, the notice will state what improvements need doing and by what date.
Prohibition notices take immediate effect once they get issued. It means the fire and rescue authority believes there is a serious fire risk. They think it is so severe that access to the premises needs prohibiting or restricting in some way.
Note: Health and safety appoints the 'responsible person' with the responsibility for workplace fire safety.
It is not uncommon to disagree with the fire and rescue authority decision to issue a fire safety notice. In this case, you can ask them to make an informal review of the decision.
In some cases, you and the fire and rescue authority can proceed with the 'determination request process'. The Communities Secretary will review the cases in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
Note: You can also appeal to the local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving a fire safety notice.
Failing to follow fire safety regulations can result in a fine or a prison sentence.
Fines for minor fire safety penalties can be up to £5,000. Whereas, major penalties can result in an unlimited fine and up to two (2) years in prison.
UK Fire Safety Enforcement, Appeals, and Penalties