The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – Part 40

April 6, 2020 1:31 pm

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 39, LWF looked at what defences can be given when charged with an offence under the Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In part 40, we will look at the potential for appeals against offences under the Order.

When a person is charged with an offence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and an alterations notice, enforcement notice, prohibition notice or a notice issued regarding firefighters switches for a luminous tube sign have been issued, an appeal can be made.

The person charged may appeal to the local Magistrates’ Court against the notice within 21 days from the date the notice was served.

Where an appeal is made against an alterations notice or an enforcement notice, the raising of the appeal has the effect of suspending the effects of the notice until the appeal is decided by the Courts or is withdrawn by the enforcing authority.

Appeals against a prohibition notice, however, do not automatically suspend the notice terms, unless the Courts decide this is the case. The reason for this is that a prohibition notice is one of the most severe sanctions an enforcing authority can place on a recipient and is because there is a significant danger to occupants or the public, should business continue within the premises.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states ‘If the enforcing authority is of the opinion that use of premises involves or will involve a risk to relevant persons so serious that use of the premises ought to be prohibited or restricted, the authority may serve on the responsible person or any other person mentioned in article 5(3) a notice (in this Order referred to as “a prohibition notice”)’.

Once the appeal is heard in Court, the Magistrate may either cancel or affirm the notice and if affirmed, it may be as originally written or it may contain any modifications the Court decides are appropriate.

Where the person charged is not satisfied with the ruling of the Magistrates’ Court, they may appeal to the Crown Court.

In part 41, LWF will look at the instances where a disagreement over a breach of the Order can be determined by the Secretary of State. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

Share this post