Fire Safety Audits
We are responsible for enforcing the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
SFRS implement a risk based methodology and establish a programme to audit relevant premises, prioritising premises used for the provision of sleeping accommodation, those that provide care and those that present the greatest risk to life safety.
The Fire Safety Enforcement (Protection) Framework for Scotland 2021 sets out the general policy and principles which SFRS expects to follow. In addition, all auditing activity carried out by SFRS is in accordance with The Scottish Regulators Strategic Code of Practice.
Every Local Senior Officer area will prepare a Local Enforcement Delivery Plan to ensure a structured and locally flexible approach is applied to auditing the risks within your area.
In line with this strategy your premises could potentially be audited by SFRS.
Local Enforcement Delivery Plan (LEDPs)
Provide information on how we are engaging with businesses in your area.
They are fundamental in delivering our risk based inspection programme and prioritising enforcement activities in accordance with the Fire Safety Enforcement (Protection) Framework for Scotland 2021.
This approach will ensure that the service we deliver is driven by consultation in line with SFRS expectations and ensures our staff safely, effectively and efficiently support the communities we serve. LEDPs are subject to regular review and are adaptable to target emerging risks and support developments in the Service’s strategy for delivering fire safety enforcement.
If you would like a copy of your Local Enforcement Delivery Plan in a different format please complete our general enquiry form.
A fire safety enforcement or auditing officer may visit your premises to undertake a fire safety audit. 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, 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 the responsible person(s), known as the Dutyholder(s), to demonstrate they have met their duties required by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
What is a fire safety audit?
The emphasis is on the responsible person demonstrating they have met the duties required by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Act 2006. For this reason, we may ask to see the following documents:
- A fire risk assessment prepared by a competent person.
- Action plans related to any significant findings of the fire risk assessment.
- Fire safety arrangements.
- Emergency evacuation plans for the premises (what to do in the event of a fire).
- Preventative and protective measures regarding fire.
- Fire drills and staff fire training records (who, when, and what training).
- Staff information on fire safety and dangerous substances.
- Fire safety checklist and routine maintenance records (what is checked, by who, and when).
- Evidence that the following have been tested by a competent person: - Fire detection and warning system; Emergency lighting; Sprinkler System; Ventilation System; Firefighting equipment; Electrical wiring in the building; Portable appliance testing.
- Information pertaining to any previous fire history or false alarms raised by the fire warning system.
The above list is not exhaustive and other evidence may be required depending on the circumstances.
The officer will undertake an inspection of the premises to compare the fire safety risk assessment findings against the hazards and measures in place at the time of visit. It is important that a nominated person is available to assist the officer, to provide access to restricted or locked areas and to advise on any health and safety issues particular to the building that may be relevant to the inspection.
It is likely the process should last approximately 1.5 – 3 hrs, dependent on the size and complexity of the premises, though this is a rough guide. 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.
- There are items that should be addressed; the FSEO/AO will send an Areas for Improvement letter containing the items noted during the audit.
- There are items that need to be addressed promptly; the FSEO/AO will send a Notifications of Deficiencies letter containing the items noted during the audit in addition to a requirement to return an action plan. The action plan will cover how you intend to address the outstanding items with an indication of envisaged time frames. If suggested timeframes are acceptable the FSEO/AO will maintain contact during the process and return to verify completion. If nothing has been done or there has been insufficient an Enforcement Notice may be issued.
- There are items that need to be addressed urgently demonstrating an increased risk to life safety from fire; the FSEO/AO will issue an Enforcement Notice with a schedule listing the items to be addressed and a date to be completed by. The FSEO/AO will maintain contact during the process and return to verify completion.
- If the fire safety or auditing officer is of the opinion that use of the premises involves or will involve a risk to relevant persons so serious that use of the premises ought to be prohibited or restricted, a Prohibition Notice will be issued, this would take effect immediately.
We have powers to issue an Alterations Notice which would require the Dutyholder to inform the fire authority of any changes to the premises that could have the potential to affect safety in relation to fire
The responsible person has the right to appeal to the Sheriff Court within 21 days of the issuance of a formal notice. The relevant forms, together with guidance on the procedure, are available from the Scottish Courts website.
Where the enforcing authority considers that a responsible person has failed to comply with any of their statutory duties, and a course of action cannot be agreed upon in order to comply with said duty, either party can raise a dispute with Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate for Scotland who will undertake an independent review.
Failure to meet requirements of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, an Alterations Notice, an Enforcement Notice or a Prohibition Notice is an offence and may lead to the responsible person being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
The SFRS seeks to promote the highest standards in service provision. To continually improve, we appreciate feedback on your experience before, during and after the audit. Please complete this short questionnaire or alternatively, contact us directly via the SFRS website.