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Last edited 29 Oct 2020
The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 requires that fire authorities or fire and rescue authorities (FRA - referred to as fire and civil defence authorities before 2004) make provisions within their area for:
- Promoting fire safety.
- Extinguishing fires.
- Protecting life and property in the event of fires.
- Rescuing people in the event of road traffic accidents.
- Protecting people from serious harm in the event of road traffic accidents.
- Performing functions requires by the Secretary of State in relation to emergencies.
In England a fire authority is:
- A non-metropolitan county council for the county.
- A non-metropolitan district council for an area for which there is no county council.
- The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority for Greater London.
- A metropolitan county fire and civil defence authority for the county.
- The Council of the Isles of Scilly for the Isles of Scilly.
A fire and rescue authority may make provisions for its roles through a fire and rescue service. The authority’s responsibility then is to oversee the service, to ensure it is properly trained and equipped and that it performs efficiently and in the best interest of the public and community it serves.
- Audits and enforces fire risk assessments.
- Works with other agencies and organisations such as building control bodies and the Health and Safety Executive.
- Develops business continuity plans.
- Produces and publishes emergency plans.
- Carries out home fire safety visits.
- Advises on fire safety in the workplace.
- Carries out inspections of buildings.
- Investigates complaints.
- Carries out investigations following fires.
Fire authorities fall under the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). They are made up of elected councillors and are funded through local the local council via a precept, which is the portion of council tax allocated to fire and rescue services.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force on 1 October 2006 increased the range of premises for which fire authorities have enforcement responsibility. It requires that fire risk assessments are carried out on all premises other than private homes and gives fire authorities responsibility for enforcement. However, the person in control of the premises is responsible for managing risks, and fire authorities no longer issue fire certificates.
NB When construction work is being carried out on an occupied building the fire authority is responsible for the enforcement of the 2006 Regulations in respect of fire. Where the building is unoccupied, the Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcement.
The Explanatory Notes to the Draft Building Safety Bill, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government on 20 July 2020, states that: 'In England and Wales, a fire authority or fire and rescue authority is a statutory body, usually made up of a committee of local councillors which oversees the policy and service delivery of a fire and rescue services. There are some variations to this model in England, where the functions of four Fire and Rescue Authorities are delivered by the local Police and Crime Commissioner (in these areas the PCC is known as a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner), the Mayor of Greater Manchester is responsible for FRA functions in that area, and there are separate provisions for London, which has a dedicated Fire Commissioner.'
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approved documents.
- Building control body.
- Building regulations.
- Construction fire safety responsibility and competence matrix.
- Dry riser.
- Emergency services.
- Fire and rescue service.
- Fire damper.
- Fire detection and alarm systems.
- Fire inspector.
- Fire marshal.
- Fire protection engineering.
- Fire safety design.
- Gas Safe.
- Joint fire code.
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Wet riser.
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