Fire safety audits

Find out what the fire safety audit process involves and what happens after the audit

Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

Our team enforces the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 using a risk-based approach. We prioritise places where people sleep, receive care, or have a high risk of danger.

Our guidelines adhere to the Scottish Regulators Strategic Code of Practice and the Fire Safety Enforcement (Protection) Framework for Scotland 2021.

Local enforcement delivery plans

Every Local Senior Officer area will prepare a Local Enforcement Delivery Plan (LEDP). This is to ensure a structured and locally flexible approach is applied to auditing the risks within your area. In line with this strategy, your premises may be be audited by SFRS.

LEDPs provide information on how we are engaging with businesses in your area. This approach enables staff to support communities safely, effectively, and efficiently through consultation.

We focus on safety inspections and enforcing fire safety rules when working with local businesses in Scotland.

Our plans are reviewed and adjusted to address new risks and support our fire safety strategy.

Access the LEDPs for your area

To get your Local Enforcement Delivery Plan in a different format, please fill out our general enquiry form.

Audit process

Your premises may be subject to an audit by an fire safety enforcement or auditing officer. This will usually be prearranged and officers will be carrying SFRS identification.

A fire safety audit is the examination of a premises and any fire safety documents. This is to ensure that the premises are managed well with regards to fire safety and in line with the legislative responsibilities of the dutyholder. Officers may also speak to staff members to confirm their level of fire safety awareness and knowledge of procedures.

The emphasis is for all dutyholders to show they have met their duties required by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

What is a fire safety audit?

A fire safety audit aims to show that Dutyholders can fulfil their duties under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

We may need to review documents to complete the audit include:

  • a fire risk assessment
  • action plans related to any significant findings of the fire risk assessment
  • fire safety arrangements
  • emergency evacuation plans for the premises
  • preventative and protective measures regarding fire
  • fire drills and staff fire training records that detail who, when, and what training
  • staff information on fire safety and dangerous substances
  • fire safety checklist and routine maintenance records that detail what is checked, by who, and when
  • information about any previous fire history or false alarms raised by the fire warning system

We will also look for evidence that a competent person has tested the:

  • fire detection and warning system
  • emergency lighting
  • sprinkler System
  • ventilation System
  • firefighting equipment
  • electrical wiring in the building
  • portable appliance testing

The above list is not exhaustive and they may request for extra evidence depending on the circumstances.

The officer will check the building to compare the fire safety assessment results with the hazards and safety measures in place.

A nominated person needs to be there to help the officer during the inspection. They should also be able to unlock doors and give advice on any safety concerns in the building.

The process will take around 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the size and complexity of the premises.

After the inspection, the officer will explain the findings to the person in charge and make sure they know how to fix any fire safety problems.

At the end of the inspection, the officer will summarise the findings of the inspection with the responsible person and ensure they fully understand what they are required to do to remedy any deficiencies relating to fire safety.

What happens after an audit?

Once the audit is complete, one of the following happens:

  • Everything is satisfactory, and there is no further correspondence.
  • Some items should be addressed. The FSEO/AO will send an Areas for Improvement letter containing the items noted during the audit.
  • Some items must be addressed promptly. You will get a Notifications of Deficiencies letter from FSEO/AO containing the items noted during the audit and asking you to make a plan to fix it. The action plan will cover how you intend to address the outstanding items with a sign of envisaged time frames. The action plan will show how you plan to deal with the things that need to be done, and when you plan to do them. If the suggested timeframes are okay, someone will keep in touch with you to make sure you finish. If you don't do what you need to do, you may get an Enforcement Notice.
  • If there's an urgent fire risk, The FSEO/AO will issue Enforcement Notice with a list of items and a completion date. They will maintain contact during the process and return to verify completion.
  • If the fire safety or auditing officer thinks people are in danger, they can stop or limit the use of the building right away with a Prohibition Notice.

We have the power to issue an Alterations Notice.

The Dutyholder must inform the fire authority of any changes that could affect fire safety on the premises.

The person in charge may file an appeal with the Sheriff's Court within 21 days of receiving a formal notice.

The Scottish Courts provides the necessary forms and guidance for the procedure.

If someone doesn't follow their duties and raise a dispute, either party can ask for a review from Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate for Scotland.

Failure to comply with the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, an Alterations Notice, an Enforcement Notice or a Prohibition Notice is an offense.

It may lead to the responsible person being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Give feedback

The SFRS seeks to promote the highest standards in service provision.

We appreciate feedback on your experience before, during and after the audit.

Please complete this short questionnaire or contact us via the SFRS website.