A visit by an inspecting officer - what to expect



These notes are provided for your information and use when preparing for the fire safety audit.

The fire service believes that prevention is better than cure and our inspecting officers will actively work with you to advise and assist with meeting the standard required.

Fire safety inspecting officers

Inspecting officers carry out audits in a fair and open manner in accordance with Lancashire Fire Rescue and Service enforcement policy statement.

Inspecting officers are issued with a written warrant, which will be shown to you on request.  This warrant gives the inspecting officer certain powers.  A summary of these powers and the legislation concerned will be provided on request.

Documentation required during the audit


During the audit the inspecting officer will require to view the following documents where applicable:

  • Fire risk assessment.

  • Fire precautions log book.

  • Records of staff training and fire drills.

  • Records of testing and maintenance of fire fighting equipment (extinguishers).

  • Records of testing and maintenance for all fire safety systems including fire alarms, emergency lighting, sprinkler system and smoke ventilation system.


Other premises information required during the visit

In order to improve our knowledge of premises risks in Lancashire, we also require some generic risk information about the premises. It would expedite proceedings when the inspecting officer visits if you could have the following information available.  


Responsible person:

Who is the person with responsibility for fire safety at the premises.



Tel no:

Mob no:


Fax no:



Maximum number of persons that are likely to be in the most highly occupied room or compartment in the time ranges shown opposite.

A reasonable estimate is sufficient.



0000 to 0400

0000 to 0400

0400 to 0800

0400 to 0800

0800 to 1200

0800 to 1200

1200 to 1600

1200 to 1600

1600 to 2000

1600 to 2000

2000 to 2400

2000 to 2400

Mobility or vulnerability of the occupants:

Given the use of the building, are the occupants more or less vulnerable than you would estimate is typical for the occupancy.

For example, a school:

  1. A school for athletes may be considered less vulnerable than usual
  2. A school for those with learning difficulties/physical disabilities may be considered more vulnerable than usual



Sole supplier in UK:

Is your business the sole provider of a product or service?

For example:

  1. A hospital that is the national specialist centre for the treatment of certain ailments
  2. A component manufacturer, crucial to the defence industry



Exceptional value:

Would your business premises cost upward of  £100,000,000 to rebuild and restock

For example:

The cost of the complete rebuild and restocking of the Trafford centre



Heritage risk:

Is your building of national importance or international significance?



Community loss:

Impact to the community.

Would the loss of your business premises adversely affect the local community?

For example:

  1. Are you the main employer?
  2. Do you employ 100 or more people who live locally?




Environmental risk:

Would a major outbreak of fire or other incident in your premises cause significant impact on the environment or community?


Tick one or more boxes as appropriate to indicate significant risks present







Water contamination:

Fire fighter risk:

Do any of the following (which may pose an increased risk to fire fighters) apply to your building and/or contents?

Hazardous chemicals


Compartment with no windows

Hazardous processes

Highly flammables


Sandwich panels

Unstable structure


What fire-fighting

Facilities are there?

Buildings are often equipped with features that will help us while fire-fighting. If you know that some of the following are provided, please tick the appropriate boxes opposite.

(If you can’t answer this question, the fire officer will look at this issue when your visit takes place.)


Firefighting (ff) shaft/s

ff shaft/s with ff lift

Dry risers

Wet risers



Is there an extract or positive pressure smoke control system covering means of escape and / or common areas?

Is your building provided with a smoke extraction system, and if so, is it one of the following types.

(please tick appropriate box)

Natural extract

Mechanical extract


Basement clearance


Is there an operating sprinkler system?

Is the building equipped with fire sprinklers? If so, what type and how much of the building is covered (as a percentage)

Sprinklers for life safety

Sprinklers for property protection

Percentage of building covered

Fire alarm system

Is the system monitored/signal relayed automatically (e.g. Call centre/auto dialler)

Fire alarm system

How many automatic fire detectors are connected to your fire alarm system (smoke and heat detectors, etc?)

Building size:

Approximate dimensions of the building (e.g. 50 metres x 20 metres)

Total height of building in storeys, including basements (if range of heights enter predominant number)

Total number of levels of basements in building

Fire safety standards within the building

As part of the audit the inspecting officer may wish to monitor the fire safety standards in all or parts of the building.

The inspecting officer may also wish to talk to members of staff to confirm their level of fire safety awareness.


Important note

You need to exercise all due diligence in the inspection of your premises and in the preparation of this report, there may be other matters that were not taking place at the time of the visit or that occur only occasionally. You should, therefore, carefully consider this report in its entirety to satisfy yourself that the main fire hazards and risks associated with your business have been covered.


Where fire compartments / fire dampers / ceiling voids were considered inaccessible for safety reasons and could not be physically accessed or were outside the visual range, the assessor cannot provide technical comment on these areas. Under these circumstances the responsibility to provide this technical information rests with the duty holder.