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Our legal process

Information on what our formal legal process is when serious deficiencies are found.

As your local fire and rescue authority we visit premises to check the fire risk assessment and fire prevention measures are appropriate. Our inspecting officers should help you understand the rules and comply with them.

They can also take action if they think your fire safety measures aren’t adequate. For example, they might issue an informal notice suggesting safety measures. They could also give you a formal fire safety notice which will tell you what is required to comply with the notice.

Alterations notice

You could get an alterations notice if your premises has high safety risks or will have high safety risks if the use of the premises changes.

Enforcement notice

You could get an enforcement notice if we, as the fire and rescue authority, find a serious risk that’s not being managed. It will say what improvements are needed and by when.

Prohibition notice

These take effect immediately if we, as the fire and rescue authority, think the fire risk is so great that access to your premises needs to be prohibited or restricted.


In some cases, the inspecting officer may consider that it is also necessary to initiate a prosecution for failing to comply with fire safety law.


You may be able to arrange an informal review with us if you disagree with the decision to issue a fire safety notice. You can appeal to your local magistrates’ court within 21 days of receiving a notice.

In certain circumstances, you and us, as the fire and rescue authority, can ask the Communities' Secretary for help to resolve a dispute through a ‘determination’.


You could be fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.

Minor penalties can be up to £5,000. Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to two years in prison.

The details of any enforcement action we have taken, in line with our statutory responsibilities, will be displayed on the National Enforcement Registers.

Supporting documents

Last updated:
7 March 2022
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