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Fire Services Act 1947

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Commencement Orders

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

Provision of fire servicesE+W+S

1 Provision of fire services.E+W+S

(1)It shall be the duty of every fire authority in Great Britain to make provision for fire-fighting purposes, and in particular every fire authority shall secure—

(a)the services for their area of such a fire brigade and such equipment as may be necessary to meet efficiently all normal requirements;

(b)the efficient training of the members of the fire brigade;

(c)efficient arrangements for dealing with calls for the assistance of the fire brigade in case of fire and for summoning members of the fire brigade;

(d)efficient arrangements for obtaining, by inspection or otherwise, information required for fire-fighting purposes with respect to the character of the buildings and other property in the area of the fire authority, the available water supplies and the means of access thereto, and other material local circumstances;

(e)efficient arrangements for ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to prevent or mitigate damage to property resulting from measures taken in dealing with fires in the area of the fire authority;

(f)efficient arrangements for the giving, when requested, of advice in respect of buildings and other property in the area of the fire authority as to fire prevention, restricting the spread of fires, and means of escape in case of fire.

(2)For the purposes of such arrangements as are mentioned in paragraph (d) of the last foregoing subsection, any member of a fire brigade maintained in pursuance of this Act shall, if authorised in writing by the authority maintaining the brigade, have the like powers of entering premises as are conferred upon authorised officers of councils by section two hundred and eighty-seven of the M1Public Health Act 1936; and accordingly that Act shall have effect as if the references in that section to an authorised officer of a council included references to a member of a fire brigade authorised as aforesaid, and as if among the purposes specified in subsection (1) of that section there were included the purposes of carrying out such arrangements as aforesaid.

F1(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

2 Arrangements for mutual assistance.E+W+S

(1)It shall be the duty of fire authorities, so far as practicable, to join in the making of schemes (hereafter in this section referred to as “reinforcement schemes”) for securing the rendering of mutual assistance for the purpose of dealing with fires occurring in the areas of authorities participating in a reinforcement scheme where either—

(a)it is necessary to supplement the services provided under the last foregoing section by the authority in whose area the fire occurs, or

(b)reinforcements at any fire can be more readily obtained from the resources of other authorities participating in the scheme than from those of the authority in whose area the fire occurs.

[F2(2)Any reinforcement scheme and the variation or revocation of any reinforcement scheme shall be notified to the Secretary of State.]

[F2(3)Where a fire authority cannot obtain the agreement of another fire authority or other fire authorities to the making, variation or revocation of a reinforcement scheme, the Secretary of State may, at the request of the authority and after giving both or all the authorities concerned an opportunity to make representations to him, direct that such scheme or variation as may be specified in the direction shall be made by the authorities or, as the case may be, that the scheme shall be revoked.]

(4)A reinforcement scheme may make provision for apportioning between the fire authorities concerned, in such proportions as may be specified by or under the scheme, expenses incurred in taking measures to secure the efficient operation of the scheme.

[F2(5)A direction by the Secretary of State for the making or variation of a reinforcement scheme may provide for such uniformity of equipment as appears to him to be necessary for the purpose of ensuring that the fire brigades affected will be able to render efficient assistance in pursuance of the scheme.]

(6)Where a reinforcement scheme has come into operation, it shall be the duty of the fire authorities to whom the scheme applies to carry it into effect.

F3(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(8)A fire authority may enter into arrangements with persons (not being other fire authorities) who maintain fire brigades to secure, on such terms as to payment or otherwise as may be provided by or under the arrangements, the provision by those persons of assistance for the purpose of dealing with fires occurring in the area of the authority where either—

(a)it is necessary to supplement the services provided by the authority under the last foregoing section, or

(b)reinforcements at any fire occurring in the area of the authority can be more readily obtained from the resources of the said persons than from the resources of the authority.

(9)The Secretary of State may, for the purposes of his functions under this section, hold such public local inquiries as he thinks fit.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

3 Supplementary powers of fire authorities.E+W

(1)The powers of a fire authority shall include power—

(a)to provide accommodation for the fire brigade for their area and its equipment, including housing and other accommodation for members of the brigade and furniture reasonably required for such accommodation;

(b)to pay to persons, not being members of a fire brigade maintained in pursuance of this Act, who render services for fire-fighting purposes such rewards as the authority think fit;

(c)to provide and maintain fire alarms in such positions in any street or public place as they think proper, and to affix any such fire alarm to any wall or fence adjoining astreetor public place;

(d)to employ the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, outside their area;

[F4(dd)to employ the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, at sea (whether or not within the territorial sea of the United Kingdom);]

(e)to employ the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, for purposes other than fire-fighting purposes for which it appears to the authority to be suitable and, if they think fit, to make such charge as they may determine for any services rendered in the course of such employment or use.

[F5(2) Before exercising the powers conferred by subsection (1)(c) above in relation to a highway for which they are not the highway authority or, in Scotland, a public road for which they are not the roads authority, a fire authority shall obtain the consent of the highway or roads authority;] and—

(a)without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this subsection, the said powers shall not be exercised in a [F6district] except after consultation with the council of the [F6district,]

(b)the said powers shall not be exercised except after consultation with the chief officer of police for the area in which the fire alarms are to be placed.

F7(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F8(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)Save as expressly provided in this Act, a fire authority shall not make any charge for services rendered by the authority.

(5)A fire authority may be authorised by the [F9Secretary of State] to purchase compulsorily any land, whether situate within or without the area of the authority, which is required by them for the purposes of their functions under this Act, and the [F10Acquisition of Land Act 1981], shall apply F11. . .

F12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Scotland only.

Amendments (Textual)

F6Word substituted by virtue of Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70), s. 179(3)

F9Words substituted by virtue of S.I. 1951/142 (1951 I, p. 1348), arts. 3, 5(2), Sch. Pt. I, 1951/1900 (1951 I, p. 1347), 1965/319, arts. 2(1), 10(1), Sch. 1 Pt. I and 1967/486, art. 2(6), Sch. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 3(5): transfer of functions (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/672, arts. 1(2), 2, Sch. 1

3 Supplementary powers of fire authorities.S

(1)The powers of a fire authority shall include power—

(a)to provide accommodation for the fire brigade for their area and its equipment, including housing and other accommodation for members of the brigade and furniture reasonably required for such accommodation;

(b)to pay to persons, not being members of a fire brigade maintained in pursuance of this Act, who render services for fire-fighting purposes such rewards as the authority think fit;

(c)to provide and maintain fire alarms in such positions in any [F13road] or public place as they think proper, and to affix any such fire alarm to any wall or fence adjoining a [F13road] or public place;

(d)to employ the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, outside their area;

[F14(dd)to employ the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, at sea (whether or not within the territorial sea of the United Kingdom);]

(e)to employ the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, for purposes other than fire-fighting purposes for which it appears to the authority to be suitable and, if they think fit, to make such charge as they may determine for any services rendered in the course of such employment or use.

[F15(2) Before exercising the powers conferred by subsection (1)(c) above in relation to a highway for which they are not the highway authority or, in Scotland, a public road for which they are not the roads authority, a fire authority shall obtain the consent of the highway or the roads authority;][F16and—

(a)without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this subsection, the said powers shall not be exercised in a district except after consultation with the council of the district,]

(b)the said powers shall not be exercised except after consultation with the chief officer of police for the area in which the fire alarms are to be placed.

F17(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F18(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)Save as expressly provided in this Act, a fire authority shall not make any charge for services rendered by the authority.

(5)A fire authority may be authorised by the [F19Secretary of State] to purchase compulsorily any land, whether situate within or without the area of the authority, which is required by them for the purposes of their functions under this Act, and the [F20Acquisition of Land Act 1981], shall apply F21. . .

F22. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only.

Amendments (Textual)

F15Words in s. 3(2) substituted (E.W.S.) (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act (c. 22, SIF 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 Pt. IV para. 99(2); (S.) S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and (E.W.) S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3, Sch.

F19Words substituted by virtue of S.I. 1951/142 (1951 I, p. 1348), arts. 3, 5(2), Sch. Pt. I, 1951/1900 (1951 I, p. 1347), 1965/319, arts. 2(1), 10(1), Sch. 1 Pt. I and 1967/486, art. 2(6), Sch. 2

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