A fire safety inspector is a uniformed officer and are also known as a Inspectors of Health and Safety. Their main role is to inspect premises to ensure that they comply with health and safety legislation.
They have the power to enter buildings both commercial and residential and to then carry out a fire safety inspection and then can decide if the premises are unsafe. In office blocks they will look for exit paths, and make sure these are not blocked by anything, like furniture etc. They will also check:
· the handles on the doors to make sure they work and close quickly
· fire extinguishers are available with 75 feet of employees and have they been serviced
· are fire sprinkler systems installed and working, and what areas do they cover
· are smoke alarms installed
· are fire safety signs correctly displayed
Their fire training enables them to produce a fire risk assessment report and decide to prosecute the landlords or tenants under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 as they could be committing a criminal offence. In extreme cases access to the premises may be restricted, in order to prevent injury to the public, as it could be dangerous to enter.
Fire safety inspectors are authorized to investigate how fires have been started in criminal cases, i.e. where insurance fraud in suspected. They are employed by the local Fire Authority or the Fire & Rescue Service, and work closely with the police.
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