5. Enforcement, appeals and penalties

Your local fire and rescue authority visits premises to check the fire risk assessment and fire prevention measures are appropriate. Fire safety officers should help you understand the rules and comply with them.

They can also take action if they think your fire safety measures aren’t adequate. For example, they might issue an informal notice suggesting safety measures.

They could also give you a formal fire safety notice. They’ll tell you how to fix the problems described in the notice.

Alterations notice

You could get an alterations notice if your premises have high safety risks or will have high safety risks if the use of the premises changes.

Enforcement notice

You could get an enforcement notice if the fire and rescue authority finds a serious risk that’s not being managed. It will say what improvements are needed by when.

Prohibition notice

These take effect immediately if the fire and rescue authority thinks the fire risk is so great that access to your premises needs to be prohibited or restricted.

Appeals

You may be able to arrange an informal review from your fire and rescue authority if you disagree with the decision to issue a fire safety notice.

You can appeal to your local magistrates’ court within 21 days of receiving a notice.

In certain circumstances, you and the fire and rescue authority can ask for a ‘determination’ from the Communities Secretary to resolve a dispute.

Penalties

You could be fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.

Minor penalties can be up to £5,000. Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison.