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East Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority is a ‘Responsible Authority’ under the Licensing Act 2003.

The Licensing Act sets out the licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm
  • Public safety

Click on the headings below for more information on each topic.

Licensing Act Application Guidance

Public safety is the licensing objective we address through consultation. Our part in the consultation process looks specifically at fire safety and whether requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 are met. If you are applying for a license through your local authority our Licensing Act Application Guidance will assist you.

In accordance with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003, applicants for premises licenses must give formal written notification to the Fire & Rescue Service of their  application.

Please note, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will apply to your premises and therefore to comply, the Responsible Person must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and keep a record of the findings. The Fire Authority can request to view this at any time.

Failure to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment may result in formal action being undertaken or representation made against your license application. Details on how to complete a Fire Risk Assessment can be found overleaf.

To assist the Fire & Rescue Service with processing your application, the following information should accompany the notification:

  • Plans of the premises in the prescribed form to which the application relates. Details of the fire precautions below are to be shown/annotated on the plan.
  • Fire resisting elements,
  • Exit doors and routes,
  • Signage,
  • Emergency lighting,
  • Fire warning systems.
  • Copy of the most recent Fire Risk Assessment & significant findings/action plan
  • Details of the occupancy numbers to be permitted in the premises, including the methodology used to establish the numbers and also the management arrangements to ensure they are not exceeded.
  • A copy of the emergency plan.
  • Supporting evidence demonstrating adequate maintenance of fire safety provisions and systems. e.g. Records of current servicing certificates

On receiving the notification, the Fire and Rescue Service will send an acknowledgement of the notification to the applicant and the local Licensing Authority.

Please note, the Fire and Rescue Service operates a risk-based inspection program and therefore an inspection may not be carried out at this time but may be in contact to arrange one at a future date.

Fire Risk Assessment Guidance

When carrying out your Fire Risk Assessment the responsible person must:

  • Assess the fire risks in the workplace (either as part of the general review of health and safety risks or as a specific exercise)
  • Check that a fire can be detected in a reasonable time and that people can be  warned
  • Check that people who may be in the building can get out safely,
  • Provide reasonable firefighting equipment,
  • Check that those in the building know what to do if there is a fire,
  • Check and maintain the fire safety equipment.

If you need further advice, please consult the relevant HM Government Fire Risk Assessment publications which may be viewed on the Government website.

The most appropriate guides which provide information regarding risk assessment and fire safety relevant to your Licensed premises will be;

Further help and advice including useful templates can be found using our Fire Risk Assessments guidance and Fire Safety Log book .

For a printable Version of this guidance document, please click here:

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Licensing Policy Statement

Our Licensing Policy Statement sets out the procedures that will be followed when receiving any licensing consultation from Brighton & Hove or East Sussex County Councils Licensing Authorities.


The primary aim of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s (ESFRS) Protection Function is:

To play a key role in maintaining Brighton & Hove and East Sussex as safe places to live and to work. Our aim is to efficiently and effectively work alongside and in partnerships, with local people and partners, to identify and respond to key areas affecting our diverse communities.

We remain committed to providing education and advice to all communities in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, to reduce the likelihood of emergency incidents arising.

Working with our partners we will pursue initiatives and strategies aimed at improving community resilience, business engagement and quality of life. We will continue to seek out ways of working in Partnership with local enforcement partners.

This licensing policy statement sets out the consultation process that has been agreed between ESFRS and Brighton & Hove City Council and each of the East Sussex district council’s licensing departments.

Legislation applicable

The legislation that applies to licensing consultations is the Licensing Act 2003. This Act sets out the licensing objectives that must be promoted by the licensing authority in carrying out its duties. These are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder.
  • Public safety.
  • The prevention of public nuisance.
  • The protection of children from harm.

ESFRS are a Responsible Authority as defined in the Licensing Act 2003.

“Public Safety” is the licensing objective that will be addressed through any consultations with ESFRS.

The legislation that applies to fire safety as part of the consultation process is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Article 43 of this legislation states:

Suspension of terms and conditions of licences dealing with same matters as this Order 43.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), paragraph (2) applies if—

(a) an enactment provides for the licensing of premises in relation to which this Order applies, or the licensing of persons in respect of any such premises;

(b) a licence is issued in respect of the premises (whether before or after the coming into force of this Order); and

(c) the licensing authority is required or authorised to impose terms, conditions or restrictions in connection with the issue of the licences.

(2) At any time when this Order applies in relation to the premises, any term, condition or restriction imposed by the licensing authority has no effect in so far as it relates to any matter in relation to which requirements or prohibitions are or could be imposed by or under this Order.

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the licensing authority is also the enforcing authority

In effect this means that ESFRS cannot impose any fire safety conditions as part of consultation under the Licensing Act 2003. Any conditions imposed as part of this process must be done under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

ESFRS Licensing Procedures

In order to facilitate the “public safety” licensing objective, ESFRS will review all licensing applications received from Brighton & Hove City Council and each of the East Sussex district council’s licensing departments.

This review process will include the review of any licence application relating to the following:

  • Temporary Event Notices (TEN)
  • Grants of Premises Licences
  • Variation of Premises Licences
  • Minor Variation of Premises Licences

Each of the types of licensing applications listed above has the potential to impact upon the “public safety” licensing objective and also compliance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

ESFRS will issue Brighton & Hove City Council and all East Sussex district council’s licensing departments with copies of the fire risk assessment template for Traders and Food Concessions for them to issue to street trading licence applicants.

ESFRS will issue Brighton & Hove City Council and all East Sussex district council’s licensing departments with copies of an ESFRS Fire Safety Advice for Licensed Premises guide.  This can be issued to anyone applying for any Premises Licence.

Any applications that ESFRS identify as having potential areas of concern will be addressed directly with the applicant under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005. On these occasions ESFRS will inform the relevant council’s licensing departments of the nature of the concerns.

Any applications for the grant of a new Premises licence received by ESFRS will receive a response directly back to the applicant. This also applies to any postal application received by ESFRS directly from the legal representative of an applicant.

If a licensing application received by ESFRS has no areas of concern under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 then no response will be made to either the applicant or the relevant council’s licensing department.

ESFRS may liaise with Sussex Police or Local Authority’s Environmental Health departments where a TEN application has a potential area of concern under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005.

ESFRS will consider attending joint licensing inspections with other responsible authorities where the areas of concern are significant enough to deem it necessary.

Any licensing application that is received by ESFRS and contains areas of concern under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 will be responded to within 10 working days.

Fire Safety Considerations for Events

If you are holding an event or thinking of organising an event, then there are fire safety requirements you should be mindful of to ensure everyone is kept safe and you are compliant with legislation. More information about fire safety for your event is available here.

If you are holding or organising an event, you are required to complete a Fire Risk Assessment and produce an Event Management Plan to ensure you run a safe event for all to enjoy and are compliant with legislation.

As an Event Organiser you will need to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, this means you will need to carry out a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment specific to your event.  This should be undertaken by a Competent Person with sufficient fire safety knowledge.

When you have completed the Fire Risk Assessment this should bedetailed in your Event Management Plan which should also include any fire risk assessments for food concessions and stallholders who may be in attendance at your event.

Your Event Management Plan should include:

  • The event evacuation strategy with consideration given to the evacuation of disabled persons.
  • Safe occupancy capacities for all areas, including; standing areas around the stage, internal areas of existing buildings, marquees and/or tents and the method used to calculate them.
  • Detail how occupant capacities are to be managed and controlled.
  • Provide clear information relating to the means of escape available, specifically if a perimeter fence is being erected around the grounds. The plan should detail the number and capacity of exit routes and widths and how barriers will be managed during an evacuation based on occupancy figures and flow rates.
  • Ensure exits are distributed so that people can turn their back on any fire which may occur and that exit routes are clearly indicated by signage and lighting. Consideration should also be given to the placing of any food concessions with regards to these routes.
  • Provide a key list of members of the organising team, their responsibilities and contact details on the event date.
  • Identify the Safety Officer, who will have show stop responsibilities on the day.
  • Ensure the ‘Blue Route’ is suitable for emergency vehicle access and egress and is not part of your emergency exit route for members of the public.
  • Indicate the guidance document(s) that have been used when producing your Plan.

For further information on Fire Risk Assessment and fire safety guidance please look at the relevant documents listed below, these are available for free download via the website Fire safety: guidance for those with legal duties - GOV.UK (

  • Open air events and venues
  • Small and Medium Places of Assembly
  • Large Places of Assembly
  • Means of Escape for Disabled People
  • Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds ‘Green Guide’

Originally published by the Health & Safety Executive, the Purple Guide is designed to provide guidance for event organisers, suppliers, local authorities and others involved in the outdoor events industry.   Publication of the Guide was taken over by the Events Industry Forum in 2012 when the original guidance was updated.   Since then, the guidance has been substantially expanded and continues to be developed. The Purple Guide is accessible through a subscription service.  Information about the guide including how to subscribe is available online at

Other useful information is available via the National Fire Chief’s website, for example; fire risk assessment templates for food concessions and stall holders.

For further information and advice on temporary demountable structures, please see:

Marriage / Civil Partnership Licenses

If you are applying for a license to hold civil marriages and civil partnerships you must carry out and record a Fire Risk Assessment including all findings and the measures that have been, or will be, taken by the Responsible Person.  Your premises must have all the necessary fire and safety provisions required for the grant of approval to be issued.

You can apply to your council for a ‘grant of approval’ (license) to hold civil marriages and civil partnerships. The grant of approval will be valid for a minimum of 3 years. You can apply to renew your grant of approval if it expires in less than a year.

You need to identify a specific room or rooms where weddings or civil partnerships take place. You can have outside space where weddings or civil partnerships take place if both of the following apply:

  • you also identify a specific room or rooms inside
  • the outdoor space is within the grounds of the building

The council must be happy that the premises are ‘seemly and dignified’ and that they will be regularly available for marriages or civil partnerships.

The premises must also have all the necessary fire and safety provisions required by the local council.

To assist you to comply with fire safety law there are various guides available via the website.  You may find the guides to ‘small and medium places of assembly’, ‘large places of assembly’, and ‘open-air events and venues’ helpful when considering how to meet fire safety requirements.  You can find links to all the government guides on our Fire Risk Assessments page.

For further useful information on applying for a marriage & civil partnership license:

How to licence your venue for ceremonies (

Marriage venue licensing | East Sussex County Council

Approval of premises for civil marriage and civil partnership (England and Wales) - GOV.UK (

Registering a venue for civil marriage and civil partnership - GOV.UK (

Civil partnerships on religious premises: further information - GOV.UK (

Licensing Explosives and Fireworks

In Brighton & Hove and East Sussex County, the Local Authority licences the storage of fireworks and explosives up to 2000kg.
In nearly all cases, where an individual or business is acquiring, keeping, transferring, storing and/or manufacturing explosives, an explosives licence will be required.

You must carry and record a Fire Risk Assessment including all findings and the measures that have been, or will be, taken by the Responsible Person.

An explosives licence is a document that allows the holder to store and/or manufacture explosives in a suitable premises. The holder of an explosives licence is the person that makes sure the licensing conditions are being met.

To apply for a license, you need to contact your local authority:

General Requirements

If you are applying for an explosives license, your premises must be broadly compliant with

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to be considered suitable for the storage of fireworks.  You must record your Fire Risk Assessment including all findings and the measures that have been, or will be, taken by the Responsible Person.

If storing explosives you must take appropriate measures to:

  • prevent fire or explosion
  • limit the extent of fire or explosion, including measures to prevent the spreading of fires and the communication of explosives from one location to another
  • protect persons from the effects of fire or explosion

The HSE provides guidance on storing and/or selling fireworks, organising displays and applying for a license to store more than 2000kg of fireworks. Further information is available on The HSE website:

Planning a Fireworks Display

If you are planning a fireworks display please be aware of the guidance available below:

Working Together on Firework Displays – The Blue Firework Guide –  This guide is specifically intended for organisers of firework displays, or events where fireworks are to be used, where the display is setup, fired and derigged by a professional display company and professional display companies as the basic information to enable them to communicate effectively with an event organiser to achieve a safe and effective display

Giving Your Own Firework Display – The Red Firework Guide – The advice in this publication covers only those firework displays, normally at pubs, clubs or charity gatherings, where the organisers set off the fireworks themselves and have no specialist knowledge.

Animals and Fireworks (RSPCA)

Concern for animals where fireworks are being used is a key issue for the RSPCA. Wherever possible ESFRS support the concerns and activities of the RSPCA.

Fireworks are used by people throughout the year to mark different events. While they can bring much enjoyment to some people, they can cause significant problems and fear for other people and animals. They can be a source of fear and distress for many animals (including pet animals, farm livestock and wildlife).

Animals affected not only suffer psychological distress but can also cause themselves injuries – sometimes very serious ones – as they attempt to run away or hide from the noise.

We would ask that if you are planning a bonfire or fireworks event or just letting fireworks off in your garden, please consider the wildlife and animals that may be affected.