Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants



Navigation

Client login
Forgotten password
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our blog

Freephone: 0800 410 1130
E-mail: fire@lwf.co.uk

Breaching Fire Safety Law - Effects, Penalties and Contraventions

Whilst the majority of us are aware that fire safety is a legal requirement, many do not consider what that actually means in reality.  The literal translation is relatively obvious, failure to meet with the legal requirements means you are breaking the law!  However, who is breaking the law and what are the implications.

This bulletin is not intended as a ‘scaremongering’ tactic, but provides some details on the potential implications of not meeting statutory requirements.

Moral

Fire kills.  Whilst this sounds harsh, it is a reality.  Fire can kill not only the occupants / neighbours of a building but can also kill Fire-Fighters who are sent in to tackle a fire or rescue people.  The effects of non compliance when it comes to fire safety can be catastrophic, having a devastating effect on people and potentially communities.

Reputation

Fires are never considered to be good news and in the main have a negative effect on a businesses reputation.  Once more the effect of a fire can adversely effect a number of people.

Financial

This aspect has two clear branches.  Should a fire occur, this will have a negative effect on a business, the extent of this will depend on factors such as the size of the organisation, the type of organisation etc.  Statistics suggest that some business never fully rebuild after a fire.

The second aspect of financial implications is fines for breaches in fire safety.  Similar to other arms of the law, fire safety contraventions can bring with them financial penalties.  In recent times a major high street retailer was reported to have been fined £400,000 plus costs for failing to comply with fire safety legislation.

Whilst such fines are not common, smaller fines are often encountered, and it’s not just large organisations that are focused on, a Public House was recently fined in the region of £16,000 for breaches. 

Responsibilities 

In some instances, occupants do not understand their responsibilities in terms of fire safety and this leaves them exposed, ignorance is no defence.  In terms of responsibility, managers, building owners, Directors, Chief Executives etc must all have an understanding of the responsibilities within their organisation.  It is common that an individual in a senior position is ultimately responsible, however, responsibilities as with any work process can be devolved to relevant persons.  For example, within a chain of retail outlets the CEO may hold overall responsibility, however each store manager may be liable for their own store.  This situation is acceptable as long as the CEO (or appointed person) ensures adequate training, knowledge and experience is in place to assume such responsibilities.  It is clear that a Fire Safety Policy / Procedures document is required to document such arrangements and to communicate the systems in place for ensuring compliance.

Summary

Whilst the majority of organisations have adequate fire safety management systems and fire precautions in place, this is not true of all.  However, it is clear that the enforcing authorities are maintaining vigilance in this area and where appropriate utilising the legislative vehicle to reduce the risk / consequence of fire will be relied upon where necessary.

If you would like to know more – or would like to arrange an appointment with one of our senior fire safety advisers – simply call Peter Gyere, Marketing Director 020 8668 8663.

 

 


Subscribe to our fire safety blogs

Bulletins
Email Format
* indicates required

FIRE SAFETY BLOGS

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - External Access for the Fire Service - Part 42

    In LWF's Fire Engineering blogs for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been looking at the subject of firefighting. In part 41 of this series, we discussed where to fit landing valves in rising mains, taking into account travel distance for the firefighters to the place of fire origin. In part 42, we look at what external access to the premises for the Fire Service should be provided.In England and...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Prevention & Waste Management - Part 76

    In LWF's blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 75, LWF discussed good housekeeping measures which should be implemented in a healthcare venue to avoid instances of fire. In part 76, we begin to discuss waste management from a fire prevention point of view. The effective management of waste on an ongoing basis is one of the...

    Read more...

  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Community Fire Safety - Part 2

    In LWF's blog series for those who work in Facilities Management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at community fire safety. In part 1, it was established that while there was scarce regulation on fire safety standards in residential buildings, such dictates would have little effect on owner/occupier domiciles. Fire safety education, however, has proved more successful and the informal beginnings of this lay with the...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Prevention - Part 75

    In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 74, LWF discussed good housekeeping measures which should be implemented in a healthcare venue to avoid instances of fire. In part 75, we will continue from that point. Rubbish can accumulate in certain spaces which are out of the way and ignored, such as lift wells, behind radiators,...

    Read more...

  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Community Fire Safety - Part 1

    In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, our aim is to give information on best practice and fire engineering. In part 1 of this series, we will take a look at Community Fire Safety, a term which, while it relates in the main to domestic fire safety, can also be applied to business environments. Community Fire Safety (CFS) could be...

    Read more...

Case Studies

Brentwood Town Hall Redevelopment
The redevelopment of Brentwood Town Hall included renovating the existing five storey property to provide police and council offices, a community hub and lettable office space across the basement, gro...

Read more..

General Bulletins

Fire - The External Risk
When we consider fire safety, our focus is normally from within, what can we do to prevent the occurrence of fire and how we can limit its damage.  Whilst this is the correct stance to take, we m...

Read more..

Technical Bulletins

Evacuation Modelling - Factor in Human Behaviour
Evacuation of buildings can be analyzed in different ways. Approved Document B (ADB) which provides guidance on meeting the requirements of the England and Wales Building Regulations with regard to fi...

Read more..

Site map | Web development Croydon