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Public Safety Minister launches new fire safety legislation awareness campaign

Friday, 15 October 2010

Public Safety Minister Michael McGimpsey today launched a new public awareness campaign to raise awareness of a change in fire safety legislation.

The campaign, Fire Safe, will target those people who need to be aware of the change in law.

From 15 November 2010 all non-domestic premises must hold a valid Fire Safety Risk Assessment. Responsibility for fire safety will rest with the employer or those with any degree of control over premises.

Mr McGimpsey said: “The new regulations will replace the current requirement for some premises to have fire certificates. Instead all non-domestic premises will be required to hold a valid fire safety risk assessment. Employers, owners, managers and landlords will be responsible for ensuring that fire safety risk assessments are carried out and measures to protect lives are put in place.”

The regulations will be accompanied by guidance documents, aimed at providing information and advice for those with duties under the new legislation.

Mr McGimpsey added: “These regulations will support the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service in promoting fire prevention and fire safety awareness in businesses, schools, offices, factories and public buildings across Northern Ireland. Given the serious risk that fire poses this is a significant step forward.”

Peter Craig, Acting Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service will play a key role in educating, informing and enforcing the new Fire Safety Legislation. We will audit premises to ensure that the required fire safety standards are being met and will work with premise owners and managers to offer fire safety advice to ensure premises are up to standard. We can also issue enforcement notices and in the most serious cases of failure of comply can consider prosecution.”

The new Fire Safety Regulations (NI) 2010 will give effect to EU Health and Safety directives and will bring Northern Ireland into line with England, Scotland and Wales.

Further information about the new regulations can be found on the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service website.

Notes to editors:

1. Additional information in relation to the new Regulations is available on the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service website.

2. The new Fire Safety Regulations (NI) 2010 will give effect to EU Health and Safety directives and will bring Northern Ireland into line with England, Scotland and Wales.

3. Media enquiries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 2841. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.