What to expect from if you receive notification of a FRA audit.
The Fire and Rescue Authority are generally very helpful and understanding.
They do have enforcement and prosecution powers, after a audit they will submit correspondence informing you of measures you might need to implement to ensure the safety of the staff and premises. Depending on the severity of their findings they will give you a time period to have any remedial work completed. They will probably follow this up at the end of the time period with another inspection. You have twenty one days to appeal any statutory notices, notices will be added to the FRA web site for public access.
The FRA will expect to see a competent risk assessment and will look to see how you have implemented the significant findings.
This means you should have evidence of at least starting to implement the significant findings, such as upgrading the fire doors, getting quotations for alarms emergency lights etc..
This will demonstrate you are complying with your obligations
Should you require a urgent risk assessment we can arrange this with recommended independent ex Fire Brigade assessors, can also arrange for a full consultation and quotation of any work arising.
The audit process are point scored on the following items.
- Quality of management processes
- Competency of the Risk Assessment
- Documenting & Recording fire maintenance action
- Fire fighting equipment
- Means of escape
- Fire signage
- Fire alarm system
- Emergency lights, inside and out
- Fire Doors/compartmentation
- Evidence of ongoing maintenance contract with competent contractors
- Regular Staff training
The fire and rescue authority have a statutory duty to audit your premises. it is the duty of the employer or in the case of multi occupied premises the owner for the common areas to ensure that the level of fire safety is compliant with the regulatory (fire safety) order 2005.
You must carry out a suitable fire risk assessment having regard to all of the fire safety matters.
You will normally be notified 21 days in advance. Any fire in your premises will prompt an audit, which normally happens within 24 hours.
They have enforcement and prosecution powers.
Following the audit they will inform you in writing regarding the outcome.
Depending on the outcome of the audit you may receive either a letter stating that the outcome of the audit shows that the result was broadly compliant.
There are other levels of correspondence you may receive which vary from a letter of non-compliance to an enforcement notice, or in the worst scenario a prohibition notice. Notwithstanding the enforcement notice the officer will allow a reasonable time period to enable you to rectify the issues.
You will have 21 days from the receipt of and enforcement notice to launch an appeal to a magistrates court.