To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 4 January (HL12418), whether they will now answer the question asked, namely, what estimate they have made of the proportion of publicly-owned buildings to which the public have access which have an in-date Fire Certificate on display; and what steps they plan to take to improve compliance with the requirement to display such certificates.
The Fire Precautions Act 1971 required fire certificates in certain, not all, buildings to which the public have access. This was repealed with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force in October 2006 and is still extant. The current legislation does not require fire certificates to be issued by the fire and rescue authority, but does now cover all non-domestic premises.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the person responsible for the premises (usually the employer, owner, managing agent or landlord) to carry out and review regularly a fire risk assessment of the premises. The current legislation also requires the person responsible of the premises to put in place and maintain adequate and appropriate fire precautions to mitigate against the risk of fire. Fire and rescue authorities are required by the Fire and Rescue National Framework to have in place a risk-based inspection programme for auditing compliance with the legislation in their area. If they believe the fire safety measures in place in a particular premises are not adequate, they can take enforcement action.