Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Enforcement

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) will enforce all matters relating to fire safety in accordance with the provisions of the statutory legislation for which it has enforcement responsibility.

MF&RS will on all occasions exercise due care and consideration in regard to the use of enforcement powers. Enforcement decisions will be made in line with our Enforcement Policy using the enforcement principles embodied in the Enforcement Management Model published by the Health and Safety Executive, which is considered national best practice, together with the Compliance Code published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The details of the procedures to be adopted by inspectors when carrying out the enforcement policy can be viewed on request.

General Enforcement Policy:

This general enforcement policy is intended to give guidance to both business and enforcement officers alike. In order for enforcement to be fair and transparent, it is important that the basis on which enforcement decisions are made is known by all those involved.

Specific enforcement policies exist which includes the following:

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002

Petroleum Consolidation Act 1928

What are you entitled to expect from Enforcement Officers?

  • A courteous manner.
  • To be shown identification.
  • Feedback on any visits, such as information about breaches of legislation and guidance on how they could be avoided.
  • A clear distinction between what officers recommend as good practice, and what you must do to comply with the law.
  • To be given the reasons in writing for any action you are asked to take.
  • Where there is an apparent breach of law, a notification of what the law is.
  • Reasonable time to meet statutory requirements.
  • Notification if a matter has been referred for legal action.
  • To be advised of the procedures for appealing against Fire Authority action.

Factors which affect choice of enforcement action:

There are a number of factors which enforcement officers will consider when deciding which course of action to take:

  • The seriousness of the alleged offence.
  • The previous history of the party concerned.
  • The likelihood of the defendant being able to establish a satisfactory defence, eg. ‘due diligence’ and all reasonable precautions.
  • The willingness of the party to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
  • Whether there is satisfactory evidence.
  • Any relevant explanation offered by the affected party.
  • The probable public benefit of the action and the importance of the case, eg whether a prosecution might establish legal precedent in other companies or nationally.

Legal enforcement:

MF&RS will consider prosecution where for example, there is failure to comply with the fire safety duties imposed by the Order and that failure has put one or more relevant persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire.

In addition if there has been a failure to comply with any requirement or restriction imposed by a notice issued under the Order, then again consideration will be given to prosecution.

Enforcement Policy Statement

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