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Fire safety prosecutions and Frequently asked questions

Find information regarding current fire safety prosecutions as well as details of prohibition, enforcement and alteration notices.

Legal Notices

How Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service manages enforcement notices to ensure businesses and commercial premises are safe from fire.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is responsible for enforcing fire safety regulations.

Our Protection Officers carry out regular inspections of premises to make sure a business/occupier is meeting the required safety standards. Protection Officers have legal powers which give them the right to enter a premise and require you to produce relevant documentation in relation to the fire safety arrangements for the premises.

Informal Action

Where the likelihood of fire is low/medium, or the consequence of fire is slight, informal action may be taken. This will be in the form of a Notice of Deficiencies advising of any fire safety issues identified and suggested remedial action to be taken. Where those responsible for the premises display clear intentions to undertake the corrective action this informal action is considered. Failure to respond to the informal action may result in an escalation to formal enforcement action.

Enforcement Notices

If premises do not meet the requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, we can issue one of 3 legal notices:

  • Alterations notices (Article 29): Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion of that changes to the premises; to the use of premises; any hazard present; or any other circumstance will constitute a serious risk to relevant persons in case of fire on the premises, an Alterations Notice may be served, which requires the responsible person/duty holder to notify us, before making any material alterations or changes to the use of the premises.
  • Enforcement notice (Article 30): Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that the Responsible Person/Duty Holder has failed to comply with any provision of the Fire Safety Order an Enforcement Notice may be served. The notice will detail the fire safety failings and the steps to be taken to remedy those failings. Enforcement Notices include a reasonable period of time for the additional control measures to be put in place. Failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice, unless exceptional circumstances, will result in an escalation to an investigation for prosecution.
  • Prohibition notice (Article 31): Where the Fire and Rescue Authority is of the opinion that the risk to persons in case of fire is so serious it will be necessary to prohibit or restrict the use of all, or parts of the premises until the specified matters have been remedied. A prohibition notice requires action to remove the imminent and immediate risk, an enforcement notice may also be served for less imminent risk.

Right of Appeal

A person on whom a notice has been served may appeal the notice within 21 days to the Magistrates Court.

We maintain a public register of notices that records all prohibition, alteration or enforcement notices that have been issued by us.

Further information

To find out more, you can:

Fire Safety Prosecutions and Notices

Find information regarding current fire safety prosecutions as well as details of prohibition, enforcement, and alteration notices.

The function of enforcement work is to protect the public, environment and groups such as consumers, tourists, and workers.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service enforces the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in accordance with The Regulators' Code (April 2014) issued by the Better Regulation Delivery Office.

We take care to ensure that enforcement action is consistent, appropriate, and proportional against those who break the law or act irresponsibly.

The decision to prosecute an individual or company is a serious step. Fair and effective prosecution is essential. Therefore, we apply the Code for Crown Prosecutors to ensure firm and consistent decisions are made.

Details of Prosecutions

Details of prosecutions are publicised in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and information will be removed once a conviction is spent.

There are currently no fire safety convictions in force.

For more information, contact the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Directorate Investigation Team on 01473 260588.

Prohibition, Enforcement and Alteration Notices

In accordance with the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988, local authorities are required to maintain a register of information concerning the issue of legal notices.

The register for the Fire and Rescue Authority will list Prohibition, Enforcement and Alterations Notices.

We maintain this public register, which is open to inspection by the public free of charge during working hours at our Service Headquarters Endeavour House 8 Russell Road Ipswich IP1 2BX. Please contact 01473 260588 for arrangements to view a national enforcement register, which is also operated by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

  1. In the Fire and Rescue Service box, select 'Suffolk’
  2. This will reveal all notices displaying the date of issue and the particulars of each notice.

This is a new data platform, and it has not been possible to update all of the historic records. Therefore, if you have an enquiry about historic complied with notices you can contact the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Protection Investigation Team on 01473 260588.

Information of serviced notices will be available on the enforcement register within 14 days of the expiry of the 21 days statutory appeal period. Where an appeal is made a notice will not be recorded on the register until a decision has been made. Where an appeal is successful no entry will be made.

Persons on whom notices are served have a right of appeal against an entry onto the Public Register which they think may reveal an industrial secret.

Please refer to the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 or contact us on 01473 260588 for further details about appeals.

Notices will be held in the register for a minimum period of 3 years.

Frequently asked questions