Ensuring the safety of individuals working or living in a building is something that is of huge importance. It’s not just making sure that there are adequate escape routes and that the building itself has been constructed with current fire regulatory guidance, it’s also very important to maintain the building. Those individuals with the responsibility to carry out fire risk assessment must then escalate any actions to a professional property works company.
Who is responsible
In the case of a commercial building or residential block, there will be designated individuals who have responsibility for fire safety protocols and practices and maintenance of fire alarms and sprinkler systems. In terms of residential properties particularly those who are tenants inside a leasehold building, it may not be as clear who should instigate fire safety works. When it comes to common areas in a block of flats, it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide fire extinguishers. Under the terms of a residential lease, however, they are in fact responsible for maintaining the front door of the property. Most people have a basic awareness that installing doors that are fit for purpose can buy time and save lives.
Hazards and responsibilities
In respect of commercial buildings that are used to conduct business, there are potential hazards that can cause fires. This can range from faulty pieces of equipment to on-site combustibles and clutter. A property manager may instigate changes to a building to minimise risk and damage. This could mean the widest possible windows for safe evacuation or the installation of fire-safe doors. Ensuring you choose a property management company that is FIRAS accredited gives you the peace of mind to ensure any fire safety remedial works will be compliant in both residential and commercial settings. FIRAS is a voluntary scheme that has been developed by Warrington Fire to provide, third-party certification for both passive and active fire protection systems. It gives guidance that contractors can adhere to when carrying out works
Passive fire protection works
Often The Complete Property Group is called in to assist with passive fire protection. Individuals with responsibility for buildings will instigate a fire risk survey. This will result in recommendations for a passive Fire Protection strategy. This will be developed alongside an understanding of the building itself plus recommendations based on any commercial enterprise that is being carried out in that building. Examples of passive works:
- Fire doors
- Fire stopping
These works are carried out and certified to reassure residents of competency. Remedial works are carried out when it is necessary to investigate, remove, clean or in some way act on any hazardous materials within a building that could cause a fire.
Awareness and vigilance
Whilst we need to observe fire safety and follow the appropriate action should a fire break out; day-to-day responsibility and maintenance of the building can go a long way to preventing fires. Everyone using, working, living, or managing properties, particularly where many people use the building should take responsibility to flag up potential issues that could lead to a fire.