London Fire Brigade

Notices glossary

Types of notice

Alterations notice (Article 29 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)

An alterations notice requires the responsible person to notify the Brigade of any proposed changes which may increase the risk in the premises. They are issued where the LFB considers that the premises constitute a serious risk or may constitute a risk if changes are made. An alterations notice does not mean that the responsible person has failed to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Enforcement notice (Article 30 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)

An enforcement notice is issued where the responsible person has failed to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and details corrective measures that they are legally obliged to complete within a set timescale, to comply with the law.

Prohibition notice (Article 31 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)

A prohibition notice is issued where the use of the premises may constitute and imminent risk of death or serious injury to the persons using them. This may be a restriction of use, for example imposing a maximum number of persons allowed in the premises, or a prohibition of a specific use of all or part of the premises, for example prohibiting the use of specific floors or rooms for sleeping accommodation.

The issue of a Prohibition Notice under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the most serious enforcement option available to the LFB other than prosecution and can only be authorised by identified senior officers.

Improvement notice (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974)

The LFB is the licensing authority for petrol filling stations in London under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928. If a petroleum licensee fails to comply with the licence conditions an Improvement Notice may be served detailing corrective measures that they are legally obliged to complete within a set timescale.

Prohibition notice (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974)

The LFB is the licensing authority for petrol filling stations in London under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928. If an inspector discovers premises being used as a petrol filling station that may constitute and imminent risk of death or serious injury to the persons, a prohibition notice may be issued prohibiting activities or the use of equipment associated with the storage of petrol.


Other useful terms

Dangerous substances

Any substance or preparation which is:

  • explosive,
  • oxidising,
  • extremely flammable,
  • highly flammable or
  • flammable.

A full definition of dangerous substances is given in Article 2 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Emergency plan

Pre-planned action to be taken in the event of a fire. In small premises this may be as simple as evacuation of the premises and calling the Fire Brigade. In large premises it may be a complex management document detailing fire fighting, phased fire alarms/evacuation, calling the emergency services and defining the roles of specific people.

Fire risk assessment

An assessment of the risks to people from fire, for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions needed in the premises and that the responsible person must take.

General fire precautions includes:

  1. measures to reduce the risk of fire on the premises and the risk of the spread of fire on the premises;

  2. measures in relation to the means of escape from the premises;

  3. measures for securing that, at all material times, the means of escape can be safely and effectively used;

  4. measures in relation to the means for fighting fires on the premises;

  5. measures in relation to the means for detecting fire on the premises and giving warning in case of fire on the premises;

  6. and measures in relation to the arrangements for action to be taken in the event of fire on the premises, including -

  • measures relating to the instruction and training of employees;
  • and measures to mitigate the effects of the fire.

but not including any special measures for work processes.

A full definition of general fire precautions is given in Article 4 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Fire separation

Fire resisting construction to prevent the spread of fire in a building and/or to protect the means of escape so that people can leave the building safely in the event of fire. This may include one or more of the following:

  • Fire stopping around service pipes where they penetrate a fire resisting wall or structure.

  • Fire dampers in ductwork or service shafts

  • Fire resisting doors

  • Fire resisting partitions

  • Structural fire resisting separation (e.g. the structural enclosure around a staircase) 

Preventive and protective measures

The measures identified by the responsible person in the risk assessment as the general fire precautions they need to take to comply with the law. A full definition of Preventive and Protective Measures is given in Article 2 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Principles of prevention

As defined in Schedule 1 Part 3 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. They are:

  • avoiding risks

  • evaluating the risks which cannot be avoided;

  • combating the risks at source;

  • adapting to technical progress

  • replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous or less dangerous;

  • developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work and the influence of factors relating to the working environment;

  • giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures; and

  • giving appropriate instructions to employees.

A full definition of dangerous substances is given in Article 2 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Responsible person

The person or organisation responsible for fire safety in a premises as defined by Article 3 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If the premises are used for business, this is usually the employer.