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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding


Outputs are produced following the activities undertaken.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service use the national fire safety audit process developed by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) to complete comprehensive inspections of buildings.  This process ensures consistent, auditable and transparent enforcement that can be challenged. This audit system looks at the level of compliance across a range of areas required by the legislation and produces an enforcement option that ranges from verbal advice to the issue of an enforcement notice.

The chart below shows the number of fire safety audits completed and their results over the last four years.

Fire Safety Audits

In 2015/16 we completed 167 fire safety audits which represented a 15% increase on 2014/15.

fire safety audits completed chart

Total number of premises audited and the outcomes

2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Number of premises audited 355 217 145 167
Satisfactory audits 148 144 103 120
Requiring informal activity 289 165 109 122
Requiring formal activity 12 9 9 5

Prohibitions & Prosecutions

The graph below shows the number of prohibition notices (i.e. formal activity) that were issued to restrict either access to or use of a premises.

Prohibitions and prosecutions chart

2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Prohibition notices issued 4 5 1 4
Number referred for prosecution 1 0 0 0

Accurate targeting of our activity should ensure all premises we visit require some form of informal or formal action. If this is the case then we are making the highest risk properties safer and enabling those premises that are safer, and who comply with the law, to continue with their day to day business.

  • If an audit has taken place and the premises is broadly compliant with the requirements then a satisfactory audit is recorded.
  • Informal activity means the premises has received a letter informing them of work required to be carried out.
  • Formal activity would mean that a “notice” had been issued on the premises. This will include a timescale for completion of work and is issued when the area of non-compliance is more serious that that required of an informal notification.

Examples of formal activity:

  • Alterations notice; this is issued when it is believed that should an alteration be made to a premises, the occupants may be in danger of a serious risk in case of fire.
  • Enforcement notice; this would be issued when it is considered the risk to the occupants in case of fire is more serious than can be dealt with by the sending of a letter. An enforcement notice will stipulate a time scale for completion.
  • Prohibition notice; a lack of fire safety provision within a building means that there is a significant risk of death or serious injury to persons within that building in the case of a fire starting. We will work with the responsible person for a property to achieve compliance.  However, when in our professional opinion, the condition of a building lacks adequate fire safety provision we will issue a prohibition notice.
  • Prosecutions; as a last resort we can prosecute. This is not an action that we take lightly and each situation is carefully assessed against evidential and public interest factors. There are occasions when we feel that there are no options left to us.  If this is the case we will not hesitate to pursue this course of action. 

Please note: More than one notice can be issued on a single premises, for example an Enforcement Notice stipulating a time scale for work to be completed and additionally a Prohibition Notice, stopping use of a particular area of the building. Also audits and the outcomes for them can stretch over a period of time.