«Fire Safety Policy Fire Safety Strategy West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service Oakroyd Hall Birkenshaw Bradford BD11 2DY Date Issued: 01/04/2013 Review ...»
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority
Fire Safety Policy
Fire Safety Strategy
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
Date Issued: 01/04/2013 Review Date: 29/10/2015
Ref: FS-POL051 Version: 6.0
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Fire Safety Strategy
Fire Safety Strategy
The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service‟s (WYFRS) Service Plan outlines the overall ambition of “Making West Yorkshire Safer” and establishes an ambitious set of service delivery targets. This strategy sets out the Prevention and Protection measures that will achieve those targets.
The strategy further supports the aim, to “provide an excellent fire and rescue service working in partnership to reduce death, injury, economic loss and contribute to community wellbeing.” The Service Plan documents four strategic priorities and the overriding goal of this document is
to meet, in full, the specific Strategic Priority stated below, whilst supporting the other three:
“Deliver a Proactive Fire Prevention and Protection Programme” A significant part of achieving the above priority is to develop a more integrated approach to Fire Safety and specifically the work that is carried out by operational personnel.
In meeting this Priority we will:
1) Ensure the authority‟s statutory fire protection duties are discharged efficiently and effectively in order to reduce the incidence of fire and the effects of fire should it occur.
2) Work with partners to deliver a reduction in fires, road traffic incidents and anti-social fire related behaviour.
Purpose and Scope This strategy outlines how West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will reduce risk in the community. The main objective of the strategy is to reduce the risk of fires and other emergencies. The document is intended to present a co-ordinated approach between Service Delivery, other Directorates and partners to improve health, wealth and wellbeing across West Yorkshire. The strategy is intended to be an internal document to provide direction within West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The document articulates the context of the Community Risk Management Strategy and Service Delivery Framework to provide a holistic approach to risk reduction.
There are two primary strands to this Fire Safety Strategy:
1) Protection Strategy The Protection Strategy outlines how West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will support businesses and other employers to meet their legal requirements, enhance safety and subsequently support economic growth. The strategy is built around the legislative framework provided by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order), the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Fire and Rescue Services Act.
2) Prevention Strategy The Prevention Strategy outlines the activities that will be undertaken by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in order to ensure that the risk to the Community is reduced as far as is possible, through a wide range of appropriate intervention and education programmes. The Fire Prevention strategy ensures that the greatest amount of resources are committed to the most vulnerable within the Community.
These two elements are subsequently broken down into a number of relevant areas, which are detailed within this document.
Responsibilities Responsibility for the delivery and monitoring of these strategies sit with the following post
The Director of Service Delivery is responsible for the delivery and review of this strategy The Area Manager (Fire Safety) is responsible for the development and delivery of these strategies. The monitoring and reporting against the outcomes of these strategies will be carried out through reporting to Service Delivery Board on a two-monthly basis and Community Safety Committee twice per annum.
The Fire Protection Manager is responsible for the development and delivery of all policies, procedures and protocols that support the Fire Protection Strategy.
The Fire Prevention Manager is responsible for the development and delivery of all policies, procedures and protocols that support the Fire Prevention Strategy.
Page 3 of 38 District Commanders and District Prevention Managers are responsible for the delivery of these strategies through the District Risk Reduction Plans.
Local Area Risk Reduction Teams are responsible for the delivery of these strategies through the Local Area Risk Reduction Plans.
All Operational and Fire Protection staff are responsible for the delivery of Fire Protection activities.
All Operational and Fire Prevention staff are responsible for the delivery of Fire Prevention activities.
Review of these strategies will occur annually prior to the April Service Delivery Board meeting and will be undertaken by the Area Manager Fire Safety. A review may also be carried out due to a fundamental change in the way that WYFRS operate in relation to Fire Safety. The purpose of the review will be to ensure that Fire Safety activities still support the Service Plan.
Introduction Our aim is to reduce the risk and impact of fire on the community, safeguarding firefighters, heritage and the environment, reducing the loss of life, injuries, commercial, economic and social costs. Consequently our statutory duty to enforce fire safety law and promote fire safety is based on risk to provide the community with value for money.
The primary focus of the Fire Protection Strategy is to support business such that all employers and places of community access meet their legal duties and maintain the safety of all those who may be present and in doing so assist the economic growth of West Yorkshire.
Premises that present the highest risk will be audited and visited most frequently. Premises considered to be lower risk will be audited primarily in response to complaints, following incidents or on a randomly sampled basis to verify their lower risk classification and to confirm that the Responsible Person is complying with their statutory duty and requirements of fire safety legislation.
Operational personnel will engage in risk reduction work appropriate to their level of expertise and their role. All personnel will collect risk data about premises as part of their normal role.
This data will enable us to target our prevention, protection and response functions in an effective, efficient and verifiable manner.
The following elements form the Fire Protection Strategy:
Page 5 of 38 This Authority has agreed a Constitution which sets out how it operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local citizens.
The Officers Delegation Scheme stipulates the terms and limitations upon which the Authority has empowered “authorised officers” namely the Chief Executive Officer / Chief Fire Officer, the Corporate Directors (Directors of Strategic Development, Service Delivery, Service Support and Corporate Resources) and the Chief Finance Officer to act on behalf of the Authority and to exercise delegated powers on behalf of the Authority pursuant to the statutory scheme set out in the Local Government act 1972 and to all other enabling legislation including statutory instruments regulations and orders.
The Director of Corporate Resources is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Constitution.
The Authority‟s Fire Protection responsibilities are detailed in a document entitled „Discharge of Duties and Powers Policy‟. If acting responsibly and in good faith the Authority makes a decision, which has unfortunate or even disastrous consequences upon members of the public, it incurs no legal liability in damages, even if a Judge is of the opinion that the decision was wrong. The decision was for them (the Authority), not for him (the Judge).
It follows that in order to satisfy a Court of Law the Authority must use its discretionary powers responsibly. As a result, there are clear guidelines laid down for inspecting officers to follow and it will not be left to individual officers of any rank or grade to make policy, or indeed, to substitute custom and practice for policy.
It is clear that in order to be able to prove that policy decisions were followed, and the Authority used its discretionary powers responsibly, policy statements are available which state in some detail the relevant legislation under which inspections are carried out, the duties of the Authority and the manner in which those duties are performed. This is the prime purpose of the document „Discharge of Duties and Powers Policy‟. It is the responsibility of the Area Manager (Fire Safety) to keep this document under review. This document should be read in conjunction with the Enforcement Policy and the policy and procedures for the appointment and authorisation of fire protection inspectors.
The Fire Protection department is led by the Fire Protection Manager and is separated into three
distinct functions as detailed in the organisational chart below:
Each functional team has a number of Fire Protection inspectors who deliver the technical and detailed support in order to deliver the Fire Protection service.
Enforcement Strategy The Authority‟s Enforcement Policy Statement is in accordance with the Regulators‟ Code 2014 and the regulatory principles required under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. It sets out the general principles and approach which the Authority‟s officers take when enforcing both fire and health and safety.
The appropriate use of enforcement powers, including prosecution, is important, both to secure compliance with the law and to ensure that those who have duties under it may be held to account for failures to safeguard health, safety and welfare.
The ultimate purpose of enforcing authorities is to ensure that duty holders manage and control risks effectively, thus preventing harm. The term „enforcement‟ has a wide meaning and applies Page 7 of 38 to all dealings between enforcing authorities and those on whom the law places duties (employers, the self-employed, employees and others).
The purpose of enforcement is to:
Ensure that duty holders take action to deal immediately with serious risks;
Promote and achieve sustained compliance with the law;
Ensure that duty holders who breach health and safety requirements, and directors or managers who fail in their responsibilities, may be held to account.
The enforcing authorities have a range of tools at their disposal in seeking to secure compliance with the law and to ensure a proportionate response to criminal offences.
Business Strategy Poor fire safety standards can lead to serious risks / hazards to persons occupying the premises should they become involved in fire. We aim to reduce this risk to the community of West Yorkshire by not only carrying out inspections and audits but by providing advice to those who ask. Our inspectors will be mindful of the need to achieve „compliance‟ rather than simply discharging the acknowledged „duty to enforce‟.
A competent and transparent service offering timely and accessible advice to those willing to comply is more likely to result in a safer and more prosperous community, as opposed to the rigid application of hard enforcement measures.
This does not preclude the need, where necessary, for each Responsible Person to ensure a competent person carries out a risk assessment. This is especially pertinent where specialist or professional advice may be required. The enforcement sanctions we use still continue to be subjected to the principles set out within the Enforcement Management Model (EMM).
The process for premises inspection in West Yorkshire is determined by our Risk Based Inspection Programme (RBIP) as required by the current National Framework and is based upon guidance given by Chief Fire Officers‟ Association (CFOA) in partnership with the department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The RBIP will be presented each year to the Community Safety Committee for approval on behalf of the Fire and Rescue Authority.
Page 8 of 38 The RBIP enables the Authority to demonstrate that it is meeting its enforcement responsibilities in respect of the Fire Safety Order (FSO). The development of this inspection programme allows us to demonstrate that we are focusing our resources on those premises that represent the greatest risk in the event of fire.
Audits of premises are carried out to:
Ensure the safety of persons residing there.
Ensure compliance with the provisions of the Order.
Assist organisations to comply with their legislative responsibilities.
Give advice regarding appropriate standards of fire protection and potential sources of information for the Responsible Person.
Gathering of risk information to ensure that resources can be appropriately allocated and to ensure accurate integrated risk management planning, including the transfer of information to operations.
Fire protection audits will be completed using the CFOA model; this will ensure a consistency of approach throughout the Service and ensure that decisions made are transparent and auditable.
The intended outcome of an audit is that those who resort to where the Order applies are safe from the risk of fire.
Operational Risk Visit Strategy In order to promote compliance with the Order operational crews will carry out a significant number of visits to commercial premises which will support specialist fire protection personnel;
these visits are termed Operational Risk Visits (ORV).
Crews carrying out an ORV will collect both fire protection and operational risk information during every possible visit, this will increase the overall amount of information gathered and provide WYFRS with a greater visible presence within the business community of West Yorkshire.