Grenfell Tower has shown that a culmination of fire safety failings can have dreadful consequences.
Fire risk assessments are necessary to pick up on any one of these hazards, and need to be reviewed on a regular basis, especially when there have been any changes to a property, whether it’s primary purpose is residential or commercial.
At Hine Chartered Insurance Brokers we offer some reminders of the vital steps that need to be taken to protect a property, but most importantly, ensure the safety of those who live or work there.
Review and update your fire assessment regularly
Gov.org and Local Government Association offer specific guidance around fire risks assessments for:
You should work to complete any outstanding actions which come from the review and make sure that all findings are understood.
Updates to your assessment may have an impact on your evacuation and emergency plans, so these will also need to be revisited.
Changes to the outcome of your fire assessment may require cooperation from others, such as the tenants of the building.
Depending on the type of property, your Local Authority, Tenant Group, Fire Authority or Managing Agent would be able to help with these communications. These key contacts should also be clear on any findings from the revised fire assessments.
Maintain equipment and systems
Fire alarms, sprinkler systems and extinguishers should be maintained to ensure they’re in good working order when called upon. Ask your system provider for their recommendations as to the frequency of inspections and checks.
Fire extinguishers will have a due date for their next inspection written on them. If not, contact the provider to find out when they should be checked.
Most fire safety legislation has been replaced by the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
This change means that the Government is committed to regulating where necessary and that those who have control over premises must take reasonable steps to not only reduce the risk of fire, but ensure that people can safely escape.
If you’re the property owner, employer, managing agent, tenant, or any other person who has a degree of control over the property, you may be a “responsible person” who is responsible for meeting this order.
In light of what may have been failings which led to the loss of life on such a devastating scale at Grenfell, it’s vital to keep in touch with how legislation, and therefore your duties as a responsible person may change.
If you have any concerns about how your fire risk assessment may affect your insurance policy, call the experts at Hine on 0161 438 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.