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Fire Prevention: Livestock Premises

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what penalties may be imposed upon those responsible for ensuring fire risk assessments are conducted on stables and other livestock premises for not fulfilling their duty. (210041)

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets out the duties on the responsible person to carry out a fire risk assessment and put in place suitable and sufficient fire precautions. The extent to which a responsible person is considered to be complying adequately with the requirements of the legislation and managing the risk on their premises is a matter of judgment, based on the professional experience and expertise of the individual fire safety audit officer.

In the event of non-compliance, there are a range of measures that can be taken to improve fire safety on all premises covered by this legislation. The two main measures available to enforcing authorities (primarily fire and rescue authorities) are enforcement notices, which require changes to be made over a specified period of time; and prohibition notices, which effectively shut premises down until improvements are made.

In the event that a responsible person does not act to improve fire safety in response to an enforcement or prohibition notice from the Fire and Rescue Authority, or, in any event, if failure to comply with the requirements of the Order places persons at risk of death or serious injury in case of fire, they are liable to prosecution in the courts. The level of penalty to be applied as a consequence of prosecution is a matter for the courts, subject to a maximum of an unlimited fine and/or two years’ imprisonment in the Crown court, or a fine of £5,000 in a magistrates court.