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Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service fire safety enforcement policy

Person carrying out a fire inspection with clip board

The guiding principles of our fire safety enforcement policy

Central and local government set clear enforcement performance standards for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. 

Performance standards help us with our commitment to provide a fair, courteous and efficient service for everyone.

We will be open in the way we enforce fire safety regulations. We will explain why we are requiring something to be done, but always ready to discuss problems. A clear distinction will always be made between what is necessary to comply with the law and what is goodwill advice.

We will help by giving advice and guidance on compliance with legal requirements because we believe prevention is important.

When we take enforcement action because legal requirements have not been met, it will be reasonable and in proportion to the seriousness of the breach of the law.

When we enforce the law it will be done in a consistent and fair way.

Wherever possible we will arrange for the same officer to continue dealing with the premises.

Download our Compliance and Enforcement Policy (PDF) [561KB]

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service approach to enforcement

In carrying out our enforcement duties our officers will be guided by the principles of our enforcement policy. Initially we will try to informally resolve problems, where:

  • The breach of the law is not serious
  • There is confidence that appropriate remedial action will be taken
  • The consequence of non-compliance has not posed a serious risk to the occupants of the premises
  • If asked, we will always confirm any advice we give in writing. Formal enforcement or legal action will normally only be taken in exceptional circumstances where:
    • There is a failure to respond to an informal approach to comply with the law
    • There is evidence of serious risk of harm to the occupants of the premises
    • There is a flagrant breach of the law
    • The situation is one where an ordinary person would recognise that immediate action should be taken
  • We will strive to ensure that enforcement action is fair and the cost of remedial work is reasonable compared to the seriousness of the problem

The right to appeal against a formal notice

There is a right to appeal against formal notices, both informally and formally.

An informal appeal, normally to a more experienced fire safety manager, can sometimes identify a different method of complying with the order.

There is the opportunity to agree to go to an informal tribunal to agree on a remedy where a notice relates to technical issues.

If an informal appeal is unsuccessful, a business or organisation can appeal formally to a magistrate.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service fire safety enforcement challenges, appeals and complaints procedures (PDF) [209KB].

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