The aims of the Warwickshire fire and rescue service (WFRS) audit and inspection process are to reduce the risk and impact of:
- fire on the community
- safeguarding our firefighters
- heritage and environment
- reducing injuries
- and the loss of life
- reducing commercial, economic and social costs
Consequently our statutory duty to enforce fire safety law and promote fire safety will be based on risk, providing our community with value for money.
Premises managed by public, commercial or voluntary organisations, which present the highest risk, will be audited and inspected on a more frequent basis.
Premises considered to be lower risk will be audited primarily in response to complaints, following incidents or on a random basis. These audits will verify their lower risk classification and to confirm that the responsible person(s) are complying with the requirements of fire safety law.
WFRS have adopted the general audit procedures developed through the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) in partnership with the department of communities and local government (CLG). These procedures will enable delivery of a risk based audit and inspection programme, aligned to the government’s current integrated risk management planning guidance notes and the fire and rescue service national framework guidance.
Audit, inspection and enforcement activities will be carried out in accordance with the enforcement concordat and will embody the principles, expectations and methodology of the enforcement management model (EMM), which is produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is considered to be national best practice. Our policies will comply with the requirements of the Government’s regulators’ code.
With regard to the adequacy of fire safety provisions, national guidance will be used, primarily the fire risk assessment guidance documents issued by HM government, to judge the adequacy of fire safety arrangements in premises. We will also recognise other fire risk assessment methods that are equally valid.
Adherence to relevant British standards and particular standards produced by other bodies will generally indicate that the responsible person has done enough to comply with the law. However, the outcome of the fire risk assessment process may indicate that compliance with fire safety law may be achieved by an alternative method.
WFRS will provide fire safety education, information and advice, where appropriate, but will not undertake fire risk assessments.
Over time, the collection of data and the audit and inspection process will bring about a reduction in community risk and enable the fire and rescue authority’s IRMP to be further refined.
The audit and inspection will be open, transparent, fair and audit-able. The requirement to comply with fire safety law rests firmly with the ‘responsible person,’ not the fire and rescue authority.
Except in cases of extreme non-compliance or where relevant people have been put at serious and probable risk, we will seek to work with the ‘responsible person’ to assist them to meet their obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO).