Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Audit and Inspection of Premises

The Authority operates a risk-based system of audit and inspection of premises. This system utilises data and guidance from Communities and Local Government together with local intelligence and knowledge and incorporates local risk priorities identified from trends in location, types of fire and assessment of vulnerability of groups in local areas within Essex. From time to time, and particularly if any significant changes are proposed, the Authority will consult regulated entities on its methodology through consultation on its Integrated Risk Management Plan or by other means.

Audits and inspection will be undertaken by officers on the basis of the Authority’s risk based system under which priority will be given to individual premises and generic premises types or uses that have been assessed as being of relatively higher risk. The greatest audit and inspection effort will be allocated to premises where a compliance breach would pose a serious risk to the safety of relevant persons and the Authority has reason to believe that there is a high likelihood of noncompliance with the law.

The Authority’s overall enforcement programme will take account of the need to sample small numbers of premises in relatively lower risk categories in order to continually test the methodology used. The Authority will respond to allegations of fire risk in any premises for which they are the enforcing authority regardless of the relative risk level of the premises.

The Authority has entered into a number of agreements with other enforcing authorities to provide clarification about which authority takes the lead for particular premises types where the enforcement regimes overlap. To minimise audit and inspection burdens for regulated entities the Authority will continue to seek to develop, engage in, and foster partnerships working with other enforcers and other stakeholder groups particularly through Local Strategic Partnerships which will encourage joint working relationships.

The Authority will continue to work with other enforcing authorities, regulated entities and others in order to avoid duplication of collection of information from regulated entities and to seek and implement ways of:

• Varying data requests according to risk;

• Limiting collection to specific regulated entities sectors/sub-sectors;

• Reducing the frequency of data collection;

• Obtaining data from other sources;

• Allowing electronic submission;

• Requesting only data which is justified by risk assessment; and

• Sharing data with other authorities.

When determining data that may be required from regulated entities the Authority will consider the costs and benefits of such requests to regulated entities in order to avoid, so far as is reasonably practicable, requesting data that is not required to demonstrate compliance with the law or the person who is responsible under the law.



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