Powers of authorised officers in relation to obtaining informationN.I.
19.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), an authorised officer may at any reasonable time enter premises for the purpose of obtaining information needed for the carrying out of the Board's functions under Article 5, 6 or 7.
(2) In this Article and Articles 20 to 22, “” means a fire and rescue officer who is authorised in writing by the Chief Fire and Rescue Officer for the purposes of this Article and Article 20.
(3) An authorised officer may not under paragraph (1)–
(a)enter premises by force; or
(b)demand admission to premises occupied as a private dwelling unless 24 hours' notice in writing has first been given to the occupier of the dwelling.
(4) If, on the application of an authorised officer, a lay magistrate is satisfied–
(i)it is necessary for the officer to enter premises for the purposes of paragraph (1); and
(ii)the officer is unable to do so, or is likely to be unable to do so, otherwise than by force,
he may issue a warrant authorising the officer to enter the premises by force at any reasonable time; or
(b)that it is necessary for the officer to enter premises for the purposes of paragraph (1) without giving notice as required by paragraph (3)(b), he may issue a warrant authorising the officer to enter the premises at any time (by force if necessary).
(5) If an authorised officer exercises a power of entry by virtue of this Article, he may–
(a)take onto the premises any other persons, and any equipment, that he considers necessary; and
(b)require a person present on the premises to provide him with any facilities, information, documents or records, or other assistance, that he may reasonably request.
(6) An authorised officer exercising a power of entry by virtue of this Article shall, if so required, produce evidence of his authorisation under paragraph (2), and any warrant under paragraph (4)(a) or (b)–
(a)before entering the premises, or
(b)at any time before leaving the premises.