Fire Authorities have a number of enforcement powers, including the service of notices and prosecution. If any investigation is commenced against you, then we recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. The penalties for failing to comply with fire safety legislation can be severe and directors of companies can also be liable.
These notices are relatively rare and require the Fire Authority to be notified before certain changes are made to a building.
These notices require action to be taken within a specific period of time. For example, a new fire door may be required, aspects of the risk assessment updated or a new fire escape installed.
In the event that a fire officer believes that there is a risk of death or serious injury, it is possible for a notice to be served that prevents the use of a building or an activity.
Failing to comply with an enforcement notice or one of the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 can lead to action being taken in the Courts. For serious matters, this generally means that the Crown Court will deal with it after a preliminary hearing in the magistrates’ court.
With fines in the Crown Court regularly exceeding £50,000 it is important to have a proper defence or mitigation strategy. The starting point is to ensure that you have your paperwork in order. Keeping a fire precautions file that contains details of alarm servicing, extinguisher maintenance, fire risk assessment and evacuation plans is a good idea. To try and avoid the possibility of legal action, we can carry out a review of your documentation for you and provide you with advice on any deficiencies that might be found.