Making Cornwall Safer

Our Business Fire Safety Strategy

“Our vision is to achieve safer business and community sectors where there are no preventable deaths or injuries in fires, where fire losses are reduced to all time minimal levels, and businesses receive consistent and common advice, information and enforcement practices.”

Continue reading

Our Business Fire Safety Strategy covers the enforcement role under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014, the Explosives Regulations 2014, consultative work under licensing and building regulation legislation and partnership working with housing agencies, Public Health and Planning.

View the Prevention and Protection Strategy 2016-19

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) have a legal duty to enforce the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 commonly known as the Fire safety Order.  CFRS and the Business Fire Safety Department meets this legal duty by:

Both of these duties support our main objectives which are to:

  • Reduce the incidence of fire in businesses
  • Reduce the number of automatic fire alarms in businesses

The Business Fire Safety Department consists of a team of fire safety officers based around the county in the following local fire stations; Penzance, Falmouth, Truro, St. Austell, Newquay. 

In order to reduce the risk from fire to businesses and their users, and help them comply with there legal obligations, we can adopt a number of strategies dependant on the risk in the premises.  Initially we help businesses achieve compliance by directing them to the relevant information and providing advice and guidance.  We run a risk based inspection programme which is described below and, if all else fails, we will enforce and prosecute.

In all these situations the responsibility for fire safety in the premises lies with the Responsible Person not with Cornwall Fire and Rescue.

Please read our Enforcement Policy to look at the standards we adopt when enforcing the Fire safety Order.

The Fire Safety Order covers all premises (other then a few exceptions) except single private dwellings.  We prioritise our work based on risk, which is set out in our Risk Based Inspection Programme.

People are at a far higher risk from fire when they are asleep due to there inability to respond quickly.  We prioritise buildings where people sleep when deciding where to inspect.  When we look at the broad array of buildings where people sleep we can prioritise further by looking at the vulnerability of the occupants and their ability to help themselves in the event of a fire.  Due to this hospitals and residential care homes figure highly on our inspection programme.

Cornwall has a large number of hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast.  These pose a higher risk to the occupants because of their unfamiliarity with the building and escape routes.  Due to this buildings who have paying guests are included on our inspection programme.

There are a number of situations which would imply a premise is not complying with the Fire safety Order in which case we would inspect.

These are:

  • A serious fire
  • Repeat false alarms
  • A substantiated fire safety concern

When structural alterations are made to a building an application needs to be made to either Building Control or an approved inspector to ensure the work complies with the Building Regulations 2010.  These regulations ensure that buildings are built to a certain standard of safety, among other things.

We work in close partnership with Building Control and approved inspectors to ensure that when a building or alteration is completed it satisfies both the Building Regulations 2010 and the Fire safety Order.

We are responsible for enforcing the following legislation which governs the storage of explosives.

  • The Explosives Regulations 2014 and
  • Fireworks Regulations 2004 (Regulations made under the “Fireworks Act 2003”

Our officers ensure that a premises satisfies all the regulations, before issuing a licence, through site visits and checking of the applications.

We are responsible for enforcing the legislation regarding petroleum storage and transport.

Because our officers visit all petrol filling stations across Cornwall annually, we also administer the vapour recovery permits for petrol filling stations on behalf of Cornwall Council’s Public Health and Protection department.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 all fire authorities are consulted whenever an application for a license is submitted.  We will usually deal with the licence using the Fire Safety Order but, if we believe any issues will affect the licensing objectives, we will feed back to the Licensing Authority.

Whenever a fire authority serve a formal notice on a premises which may affect the safety of the public they need to make the details available to the public.  A formal notice is either an enforcement, alterations or prohibitions notice.  The notice remains on the register for 7 years after it has been lifted.

We are required to produce this risk register under the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988. For further details of this act visit the Government website.