Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

County businesses to benefit from improvements to fire safety regulations

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed a commitment from the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) to work with businesses to better enforce fire safety regulations.

The announcement follows the Government's Focus on Enforcement Review, carried out last autumn, which gathered evidence from businesses about their experiences of fire safety.

It called for more consistency in how regulations are applied and better guidance for companies. The review found, in some cases, fire services contradict each other when offering advice and enforcing regulations.

It also found that there is no route to appeal or to seek consistency on regulators' decisions outside a lengthy determination process or costly legal action.

Occasionally businesses found that safety requirements were ratcheted up from one inspection to the next at significant cost, but with no evidence to say safety had been improved.

The CFOA has committed to:

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "I very much welcome the CFOA's positive commitment to lead work to improve businesses' experience when dealing with fire and rescue authorities."

"We are proud of our enforcement record within Gloucestershire and believe we have an approach which is consistent and supportive of local business, while maintaining a safe environment for employees and customers. Anything which further streamlines and enhances the regulatory process is good for all involved."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "In Gloucestershire, we recognise that employees and businesses should be protected without productivity or business growth being damaged - and so fire safety regulations must be robustly enforced."

"Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has an exemplary record in this regard, but with this latest commitment firms can expect to be even better placed to protect their staff, customers and premises without confusion."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by: Keith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 425391

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27th August 2013