The public register
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service visits and inspects a wide range of non-domestic premises to ensure safety from fire. If we discover problems that could make premises unsafe, the actions we can take includes issuing legal notices, which put obligations on the responsible person, to ensure the premises are safe.
As an enforcing authority of fire safety legislation, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority is required by law (the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988) to maintain a public register of these notices.
Notices place either restrictions or requirements on the persons on whom they have been served. They are served under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and come in three types:
- Alterations Notices:
An alterations notice may be served on the responsible person if the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that any alterations being made to the premises will constitute a serious risk to relevant persons (whether due to features of the premises, their use, and any hazard present or any other circumstances).
- Enforcement Notices:
Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that the responsible person or other duty holder has failed to comply with any provision of the Fire Safety Order.
- Prohibition Notices:
Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that the risk to persons in case of fire is so serious that the use of all or parts of the premises should be prohibited or restricted.
Viewing and maintenance of the register
- All notices served under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service will be recorded in accordance with the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988. Notices can be viewed electronically on the website of the National Fire Chiefs Council: http://www.cfoa.org.uk/notices-register
- County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service will maintain the register entries for notices served by the service. Each entry on the register will state sufficient particulars to convey the substance of the notice to which it relates.
- Persons on whom notices are served have a right to give written notification to the Authority within 14 days following the date of the service, that they think the entry may reveal a trade or manufacturing secret. Where such notification is received, the Authority will amend the notice and send a draft entry to the person affected. Should the person affected disagree with the proposed entry he/she may, within 14 days, appeal to the Secretary of State.
- Notices which have been successfully appealed under Section 4 (1)-(4) of the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 will be clearly redacted (edited to remove sensitive information) to demonstrate compliance.
When the information is added and removed
Information relating to notices served will be available on the register within 14 days of expiry of the 21 day statutory appeal period. Where an appeal is made, a notice will not be recorded on the register until a decision on the appeal is final. In cases where the notice is overturned, no entry on the register will be made.
Any entries in the register which relate to a notice shall be kept in the register for a period of not less than three years from the date on which the notice was served.