As part of its ongoing commitment to “Safer Communities, Safer Firefighters”, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will visit, inspect and audit a wide range of premises to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies.
If fire safety deficiencies are discovered that put people at risk, we will take action to ensure that the premises are made safer from fire for everybody. This action will be proportionate to the risk posed and can range from giving advice on how matters may be improved (Informal notices), to requiring works to be done within a certain time period and prohibiting the use of a premises, through STATUTORY NOTICES.
As an Enforcing Authority of fire safety legislation, we are required by the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 to maintain a public register of the Statutory Notices we have served.
Notices included on the register are:
- Alterations Notices: An alterations notice may be served on the responsible person if the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that any structural alterations being made to the premises will constitute a serious risk to relevant persons (whether due to features of the premises, their use, and any hazard present or any other circumstances). An alterations notice does not necessarily mean that the responsible person has failed to comply with any requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Enforcement Notices: Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that the person responsible for fire safety in the premises has failed to comply with any provision of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The notice must state why the Fire Authority is of that opinion, specify the provisions which have not been complied with, and must give a timescale (not less than 28 days) in which to take steps to remedy the failures. The Notice will normally include directions as to the measures which the Fire Authority consider are necessary to remedy the failure(s).
Prohibition Notices: Where the advisor considers that the use of the premises involves, or will involve, a risk to persons on the premises in the event of fire so serious that use of the premises ought to be prohibited or restricted, the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service may serve a Prohibition Notice. The notice may prohibit use immediately or after a specified time and not allow it to be used until remedial action has been taken. The notice will explain why the action is necessary.
- The register is available for public inspection via the National Enforcement Register on the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) website, which can be found here.
- Each entry in the register will be indexed and contain sufficient detail to convey the substance of the notice to which it relates.
- Information of notices will be available for public inspection on the register within 14 days of expiry of the 21 day statutory appeal period. Where an appeal is made, no notice will be recorded until a decision on the appeal is reached. No entry will be made if a notice is ‘overturned’ by the Courts.
- The status of each notice is displayed on the register, an Enforcement Notice will either be “In Force” OR “Complied With” a “Prohibition Notice” and “Alterations Notice” will be either “In Force” or “Withdrawn”.
- Should the status of a notice change e.g. it is ‘withdrawn’ or ‘complied with’, the register will be updated to reflect these changes.
- Entries will remain on the register for a period of five years or for as long as they remain in force.
The Enforcement and Advisory Management team within Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will ensure that any information held on the register is current.
Please see our position statement which explains how you should expect to be treated fairly.
Enforcement Concordat Position Statement
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service support the approach taken in the 1998 Central and local governments “Concordat of good enforcement”. This means as a business owner or responsible person you should always expect to be treated fairly and any action taken against you should be consistent and proportionate. Our inspection team should treat you in a helpful open manner making it clear what is expected in order for you to comply with Fire Safety law. You should expect a high standard of service and if you feel our organisation has fallen short we will provide a suitable, easily accessible means to complain or appeal.
The Principles of Good Enforcement: Detail
This document sets out what business and others being regulated can expect from enforcement officers. It commits us to good enforcement policies and procedures. It may be supplemented by additional statements of enforcement policy.
The primary function of central and local government enforcement work is to protect the public, the environment and groups such as consumers and workers. At the same time, carrying out enforcement functions in an equitable, practical and consistent manner helps to promote a thriving national and local economy. We are committed to these aims and to maintaining a fair and safe trading environment.
The effectiveness of legislation in protecting consumers or sectors in society depends crucially on the compliance of those regulated. We recognise that most businesses want to comply with the law. We will, therefore, take care to help business and others meet their legal obligations without unnecessary expense, while taking firm action, including prosecution where appropriate, against those who flout the law or act irresponsibly. All citizens will reap the benefits of this policy through better information, choice, and safety.
We have therefore adopted the central and local government Concordat on Good Enforcement. Included in the term "enforcement" are advisory visits and assisting with compliance as well as licensing and formal enforcement action. By adopting the concordat we commit ourselves to the following policies and procedures, which contribute to best value, and will provide information to show that we are observing them.
Principles of Good Enforcement: Policy
In consultation with business and other relevant interested parties, including technical experts where appropriate, we will draw up clear standards setting out the level of service and performance the public and business people can expect to receive. We will publish these standards and our annual performance against them. The standards will be made available to businesses and others who are regulated.
We will provide information and advice in plain language on the rules that we apply and will disseminate this as widely as possible. We will be open about how we set about our work, including any charges that we set, consulting business, voluntary organisations, charities, consumers and workforce representatives. We will discuss general issues, specific compliance failures or problems with anyone experiencing difficulties.
We believe that prevention is better than cure and that our role therefore involves actively working with business, especially small and medium sized businesses, to advise on and assist with compliance. We will provide a courteous and efficient service and our staff will identify themselves by name. We will provide a contact point and telephone number for further dealings with us and we will encourage business to seek advice /information from us. Applications for approval of establishments, licenses, registrations, etc, will be dealt with efficiently and promptly. We will ensure that, wherever practicable, our enforcement services are effectively co-ordinated to minimise unnecessary overlaps and time delays.
Complaints about service
We will provide well publicised, effective and timely complaints procedures easily accessible to business, the public, employees and consumer groups. In cases where disputes cannot be resolved, any right of complaint or appeal will be explained, with details of the process and the likely time-scales involved.
We will minimise the costs of compliance for business by ensuring that any action we require is proportionate to the risks. As far as the law allows, we will take account of the circumstances of the case and the attitude of the operator when considering action.
We will take particular care to work with small businesses and voluntary and community organisations so that they can meet their legal obligations without unnecessary expense, where practicable.
We will carry out our duties in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. While inspectors are expected to exercise judgement in individual cases, we will have arrangements in place to promote consistency, including effective arrangements for liaison with other authorities and enforcement bodies through schemes such as those operated by the Local Authorities Co-Ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS) and the Local Authority National Type Approval Confederation (LANTAC).
Principles of Good Enforcement: Procedures
Advice from an officer will be put clearly and simply and will be confirmed in writing, on request, explaining why any remedial work is necessary and over what time-scale, and making sure that legal requirements are clearly distinguished from best practice advice.
Before formal enforcement action is taken, officers will provide an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of the case and, if possible, resolve points of difference, unless immediate action is required (for example, in the interests of health and safety or environmental protection or to prevent evidence being destroyed).
Where immediate action is considered necessary, an explanation of why such action was required will be given at the time and confirmed in writing in most cases within 5 working days and, in all cases, within 10 working days.
Where there are rights of appeal against formal action, advice on the appeal mechanism will be clearly set out in writing at the time the action is taken (whenever possible this advice will be issued with the enforcement notice).