If a business is not complying with fire safety legislation, we are duty bound to begin enforcement action. Any enforcement action will be completed in full consultation with the responsible person.
What enforcement actions may be taken?
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service can issue notices; legal documents that place either restrictions or requirements on the person who the notice has been issued. There are three types of notices we can issue:
This requires the responsible person to notify the service of any proposed changes which may increase risk on the premises. They are issued when we consider the premises constitute a serious risk if changes are made. This does not mean the responsible person has failed to comply with the Fire Safety Order 2005.
This is issued where the responsible person has failed to comply with the Fire Safety Order 2005. It outlines the corrective measures the responsible person is legally obliged to complete within a set timescale, in order to comply with the law.
This is issued where the use of the premises may constitute an imminent risk of death or serious injury to the persons using them. This may be a restriction of use, or a prohibition of a specific use of all or part of the premises.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is required by the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 to maintain a public register of notices serviced.
What could happen if I do not comply with fire safety legislation?
The consequences can be severe. Apart from the potential for loss of life, injury or damage to property, enforcement action may be taken.
The penalties are set out in legislation and range from a fine to a custodial sentence and may, in extreme cases, include both. Please remember failure to meet the requirements of the Fire Safety Order 2005 may lead to prosecution.
If you are unsure of your responsibilities, have a query or need advice about fire safety, please contact us:
What is the public enforcement register?
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is required by the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 to maintain a public register of notices serviced. Our enforcement register contains details of the following:
- alterations notices
- enforcement notices
- prohibition notices
Where can I view a copy of the enforcement register?
Notices served on and after 1 April 2009 can be viewed electronically via the Chief Fire Officers' Association
website. Notices served prior will be maintained in hard copy at the fire and rescue service headquarters.
All notices may be inspected free of charge at any reasonable time by contacting the fire safety enforcement and risk team:
Notices will be held in the register for a period of five years.
Where can I find out more about enforcement?
Is there an appeals process?
Yes, for persons who have been served an alterations, enforcement or prohibition notice, or a notice by the fire and rescue service, there is an appeals process. This is outlined within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
and states an appeal should be made to the magistrates’ court within 21 days of the day on which the notice was served.
There is also a specific appeals procedure if a notice potentially contains trade or manufacturing secrets. Those who are served notices have a right to give written notification to the fire and rescue service to state they think the entry may reveal a trade or manufacturing secret. This written notification must be made within 14 days of the notice being served.
Where such notification is received, the service will amend the notice and send a draft entry to the person affected. Should the person affected disagree with the proposed entry, they may, within 14 days appeal to the secretary of state. Notices successfully appealed under section 4 of the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988
will be clearly redacted to demonstrate compliance.
For further information, please refer to our service procedure on challenges, complaints and appeals procedures
and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005