Comment by: Mark Abram (Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service)
Focus area: Fire safety regulation
Regulator concerned: Fire safety (Fire Authority)
Review of the Enforcement of the Fire Safety Order 2005 in Small to Medium Size Enterprises.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue (CFRS) would like to submit a response to the above review in relation to how it supports businesses comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO).
The introduction of the FSO and reports such as Reducing Administrative Burdens: effective inspection and enforcement (P Hampton) influenced CFRS to review how it could support businesses to achieve compliance as the first step in its Community Fire Protection strategy. This resulted in a Business Safety Team (BST) being recruited, consisting of three full time equivalent posts (one manager and two advocates). The team focus on ‘an us to them’ approach as CFRS recognise the pressures and constraints on small and medium enterprises to attend seminars and functions outside the workplace.
Since their establishment in 2009 the BST have delivered legislative fire protection activities with the business community, third sector, the Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic Communities and in partnership with other agencies. Some of the teams work has included;
• Increasing the number of non domestic premises recorded to enhance a risk based approach to enforcement
• Providing support and information to businesses that have had a fire
• Providing advice and information to businesses in the vicinity of a non domestic fire
• Delivering campaigns focussing on types of premises e.g. Farms, Fast Food Outlets and Hotels
• Working with local authorities e.g. Local Enterprise Partnership
• In partnership with the Deaf Support Network and the Lions Club
• National seminars e.g. Heritage and disabled egress
The team have also developed positive working relationships with the fire sector e.g. fire sector industry associations use CFRS premises to hold their events and our fire protection officers attend which allows them to demonstrate continuing professional development and to network with key stakeholders.
Should it be required CFRS would be pleased to offer a more detailed response.