Periodical fire risk assessments are a legal requirement for many rental properties and best practice in all.
They are required to be carried out by law to ensure that the risks associated with fire are minimised in non-domestic premises to keep the people working, living or uses the premises safe. This typically means workplaces but can also include common areas of premises provided by a landlord.
They identify possible causes of fires, highlighting potential hazards and the precautions the landlord should take to reduce the likelihood of a fire.
Last year, a Bristol court case saw the ‘responsible person’ of the Strachan and Henshaw building in Speedwell, Wayne Braund, charged with 7 separate offences (of which he pleaded guilty to 6) for failing to comply with fire safety rules following a large fire in 2018. The charges included:
- Failure to undertake a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment
- Failure to ensure the fire alarm system was maintained to an appropriate standard
- Failure to provide adequate provision of firefighting equipment
- Failure to ensure exits lead to a place of safety
- Failure to ensure escape routes and exits could be used as quickly and safely as possible
- Failure to ensure the fire alarms provided at the premises was maintained in an adequate state of repair
- Failure to ensure emergency lighting provided at the premises was maintained in an adequate state of repair
Fire safety breaches are taken very seriously by the fire service and criminal justice system. The effects of fire can be devastating and rapid, with fires able to reach an uncontrollable level in a matter of only minutes. Therefore, anyone who is in charge or has control of a non-domestic building, should undertake a fire risk assessment.
Not everyone would have the necessary skills, knowledge, or experience to do this, which is where we at Acorn Health & Safety can help. Our fire risk assessors have the competence to examine any passive and active fire prevention systems that are in place, they can offer an unbiased view of the effectiveness of those systems and produce an action plan providing recommendations in respect of legal requirements, best practice, and day to day checks and inspections recommended considering the nature, use and occupancy of a customers’ premises.
We are primarily health and safety specialists with knowledge of what health and safety law requires. This has enabled us to help clients to ascertain for example, what is required from fire door installations, to contain heat and prevent the spread of smoke, where smoke detectors and Co2 detectors should be placed by relevant landlords, and how customers’ premises can best be maintained to enable people to get out easily and safely in an emergency.
It can be difficult to differentiate between what is legally required, is recommended by published standards or is common industry practice. We can help to demystify these elements and give impartial advice and recommendation to improve fire safety in your workplace or premises and to ensure that our customers have support, guidance and, of course, are able to operate within the law.
Contact us now to discuss your requirements.