Last edited 04 Mar 2016

Fire inspector

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 consolidated and rationalised previous fire safety legislation and reduced the number of enforcing authorities dealing with general fire safety matters.

For the purposes of the Order, enforcing authorities may be:

  • The fire and rescue authority for the area in which premises are, or are to be.
  • The Health and Safety Executive in relation to certain nuclear installations, ships undergoing works and construction sites.
  • The fire service maintained by the Secretary of State for Defence in relation to the armed forces.
  • The relevant local authority in relation to sports grounds and stands.
  • A fire inspector, in relation to premises owned or occupied by the Crown, or in which the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is the responsible person.

Enforcing authorities may appoint inspectors to perform their duties.

According to the order:

  • A ‘fire inspector’ means an inspector or assistant inspector appointed under section 28 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004;
  • An ‘inspector’ means an inspector appointed under article 26 of the Order (relating to enforcement) or a fire inspector.

The powers of inspectors include anything necessary for the purpose of carrying out the Order, including:

  • Entering premises, but without the use of force.
  • Making inquiries necessary to determine whether the provisions of the order apply or have been complied with and to identify the responsible person.
  • Requiring the production of information.
  • Requiring any person having responsibilities in relation to premises to provide facilities and assistance to exercise their powers.
  • Taking samples of any articles or substances for the purpose of ascertaining their fire resistance or flammability.
  • Causing articles or substances to be dismantled or subject to any process or test, but not so as to damage or destroy them unless this is necessary.

Inspectors must, if asked, produce evidence of their authority and if requested exercise their powers in the presence of people responsible for the premises. They must also consult to ascertain what dangers there may be of dismantling or testing articles or substances.

See also Fire door inspector.

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