Fire Safety Law Regulations Solicitors

If you have been accused of fire safety offences we can guide you through the legal process with our expert understanding of the criminal justice system in this area.

At Lawtons, we have a dedicated number of solicitors who have the specialist technical knowledge and understanding of every aspect and requirement of UK fire safety regulations. We are able to ensure you are fully compliant with every aspect of the governing law.

What is fire safety legislation?

Regulations surrounding fire safety have undergone significant change as a result of the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and now receive increased prominence. The new regulations mean inspectors have greater powers to serve alterations and enforcements. They also have the capacity to shut down a premises with immediate effect.

With this in mind, if you are faced with an investigation or prosecution with regards to fire safety law, it is imperative to have the support of a dedicated fire safety lawyer, who has a full understanding of the implications and requirements of fire safety law.

Fire safety regulations: what are your responsibilities?

Fire safety is generally governed by the fire authority, but also involves the council or a Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The fire authority has imposed a number of responsibilities for anyone who owns a property and has a duty of care for others – whether it be a workplace or landlord – who will be accountable to the law if any obligations are broken.

These responsibilities include:

  • Regular maintenance and testing of fire safety equipment
  • Providing a suitable means of escape in the event of a fire
  • Planning for an emergency and training staff sufficiently
  • Undertaking fire risk assessments
  • Providing the necessary equipment to fight a fire
  • Providing fire warnings and detection equipment

What happens if you are found in violation of fire safety regulations?

Penalties for non-compliance with any of these responsibilities – even without a fire – can start from an informal notice which would highlight safety measures that need to take place, through to more formal fire notices that will tell you exactly how to fix the issues identified.

For more serious cases, an alterations notice or an enforcement notice for any risks that have not been properly managed could be provided.

The most serious is a prohibition notice that can take effect immediately, whereby the risk of fire is deemed critical and therefore access to the premises must be restricted or completely prohibited.

Should a fire occur where people are injured, fatally or otherwise, then a criminal investigation with a dedicated court hearing will take place.

The latest reform in regulations has led to an increase in the severity of sentences imposed for breaching fire safety offences, therefore it is critical to remain aware of your responsibilities.

At Lawtons we have a dedicated team with intricate knowledge of the latest in fire safety regulations. We can help to defend investigations and prosecutions relating to fire safety from the outset of an investigation through to its conclusion.

For more information on fire safety, or to discuss an individual case, please just get in touch.

FAQs about Fire Safety Regulations

Can employers and employees be fined for failing to comply with fire safety?

Yes, the law states that a regularly reviewed fire risk assessment is a must and fire departments have been known to fine organisations for failing to comply with safety regulations.

Who carries out a fire risk assessment?

The fire risk assessment must be carried out by a ‘competent person’ on all commercial premises and communal areas of residential premises according to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Is a fire warden a legal requirement?

Yes, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 made it a legal requirement. Businesses need to have enough employees trained as fire wardens to help assist in an emergency situation.

What is a UK fire safety certificate & is it a legal requirement?

Fire safety certificates attest to you having had fire safety assessments undertaken. As any fire safety solicitors will tell you, however, they are no longer a legal requirement for most properties in the UK. A notable exception is the ESW1 certificate for flats requiring an external wall survey. Even for the majority of properties, which do not require any certification, assessments are still a necessity.