Keeping businesses safe from fire
If you own, manage or operate a business, you need to comply with fire safety law. The main laws that apply in Northern Ireland are:
- The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006; and
- The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.
The Order applies to almost all buildings, places and structures that aren’t domestic premises. Other places covered by the Order include houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), and facilities for the protection of Firefighters in blocks of flats and maisonettes.
What are your responsibilities?
You need to make sure:
- Your premises reach the required standards
- Your employees are provided with adequate fire safety training.
What does ‘adequate fire safety training’ mean?
It varies from business to business, but generally includes:
- Induction training to cover general fire awareness
- Periodic refresher training, or extra training where the level of fire risk increases as a result of changes in your operations
- Training to build appropriate skills such as managing fire safety, fire risk assessment, fire warden or using fire extinguishers.
Who enforces the legislation?
We are the enforcing authority for the majority of premises. Inspectors will visit businesses to ensure they are complying with legislative requirements. We follow the procedures detailed in NIFRS Fire Safety Enforcement Policy.
How do we check our performance?
It’s important to us that our service meets the needs of the people we serve, and so every year we survey the businesses we audited about the service they received from us.
In the Fire Safety Audit Survey 2021, which surveyed businesses we audited in 2019-20, 100% of businesses who responded to the survey were either very satisfied (91%), or fairly satisfied (9%) by the NIFRS audit process.