The Department of Health proposes to make amendments to the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and seeks your views on the following proposals:
Change to Definition of Domestic Premises
The proposed amendment effectively removes common areas from the definition of domestic premises. This amendment will give the Fire and Rescue Service responsibility for the inspection and enforcement of fire safety in the common areas of purpose built blocks of flats/apartments.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
As legislation currently stands the Fire and Rescue Service can only delegate powers for fire safety enforcement for a workplace. This does not address the issue of HMOs. To facilitate the introduction of the HMO Act the Department of Health is proposing to amend Article 33(5) of the 2006 Order. The proposed amendment replaces the word “workplace” with “relevant premises”.
Definition of an Authorised Officer
Currently the 2006 Order states that the Chief Fire and Rescue Officer may only authorise fire and rescue officers to enforce the legislation. The proposed amendment would allow the Chief Fire and Rescue Officer to authorise non-uniformed staff or other persons (i.e. council staff) to carry out inspections in relevant premises.