7. SFRS should have in place a programme of enforcement audit for premises to assess dutyholders’ compliance with responsibilities set out in Part 3 of the 2005 Act and in the 2006 Regulations. Such an audit programme should prioritise enforcement activities and resources should be targeted at premises which offer the greatest risk to the safety of relevant persons in the event of fire.
8. The purpose of enforcement is to:
- promote and enable sustained compliance with the law;
- ensure that action is taken to deal promptly with serious risk; and
- ensure that dutyholders who fail in their obligations are held to account.
9. A scheduled audit programme should not include premises where the risk to life in event of fire is low, except as part of a limited sampling approach to test the risk assessment methodology or confirm compliance assumptions. Any limited sampling should be co-ordinated on a service wide basis, with the results analysed.
10. This guidance does not prescribe fixed frequencies for audits. Where periodic fixed term frequencies have been allocated according to a risk rating, it should be possible for SFRS to show how its resources are being applied.
11. Section 61(3) of the 2005 Act allows an enforcing authority to appoint enforcement officers. The enforcement of Chapter 1 duties requires to be undertaken principally by specialist staff dedicated to the fire safety enforcement role. The make-up of this cadre of staff is a matter for SFRS to determine but resources cannot be considered in terms of numbers alone. Succession planning should ensure that secondment opportunity and career progression is balanced against the need to retain a sufficiently qualified core of specialist staff.
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