Workplace fire risk assessments MUST be carried out under the recently introduced Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety ) Order 2005, as the hallway, stairs and common parts of apartment blocks is a place of work for some.
For GENERAL INFORMATION on fire risk assessments, or take a look at our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS page which you may find helpful. If you need to understand about the RATIONALE behind the FRA process, or if you want to look at what can happen with UNQUALIFIED ASSESSORS when they get it wrong.
Please note, if you cannot find a specific answer to your query, just give us a quick call, or email us, and we will do our best to give you the correct free advice with no obligation.
People living in flats experience more fires than people living in houses, however a flat fire is no more dangerous than a fire in a house. High rise does not mean high risk. The most siginficant influences on fire risk are social and lifestyle factors and advanced age, not the type of dwelling in which you live. All dwellings should have smoke alarms, very few people die as a result of a fire in a neighbours flat or the common parts. Nearly all fire deaths occur in the flat in which the fire starts.
In blocks of flats, each flat is designed to be a fire resisting box, It is important to maintain the integrity of this compartment, particuarly when building work or alterations take place.
All workplaces, and that includes the communal areas of flats and apartments must be inspected regularly, and a completed fire risk assessment undertaken, recording those actions and reviewing them regularly. As an unbiased external organisation, we are well placed to complete this task, having assisted in many varied types of fire risk assessments and inspections within the Liverpool, and then Merseyside Fire Service.
Residential flats or apartments form the basis of our work, from six dwellings up to twenty five dwellings or more, and we first commenced these inspections on behalf of Blundellsands Properties Limited way back in in 2006. We operate on a standard fee basis for this, additional or larger premises will be charged according to their complexity. The average cost can work out at less than eight pounds per year for each resident, good value for reduced risk from fire, and help towards compliance for up to three years.
By specialising in this sector, we can bring a huge amount of experience, knowledge and understanding, of what is required to ensure that there is minimum disruptive change, whilst still aiming to ensure compliance with the legal and moral requirements.
You will be pleased to note that after serving for thirty one years in Merseyside Fire Service, Stephen Blenkinsop, our senior NEBOSH assessor, has a good understanding of what is required to ensure compliance and goes about his fire risk assessment work with a methodical and common sense approach. He has undertaken a number of fire safety courses both theoretical and practical, and has backed this up with a NEBOSH assessor general certificate, and is currently considering studying for his diploma. We believe he fully complies with the recently drafted competencey requirements.
We always strive for perfection, but fully understand that whilst we are inspecting a premise under fire risk assessment, it is also a home to several occupiers, so demanding the removal of personal posessions, that help make it a home is not the main priority, but working towards compliance is!
Each inspection and subsequent review of the flat or apartment, will target key areas to work towards reducing the likelihood of a fire occuring, limiting its severity, and mitigating the damaging effects.
A fire risk assessment inspection comprises of a visit to the premises where a detailed report is completed, allowing a systematic check of all appropriate areas and risks to be identified Any points that need remedial work are noted and photographed, each aspect of the report is then evaluated and risk assessed. Steps are then identified which can reduce, remove or eliminate the risk, and are prioritised. The report is then compiled with any supporting evidence, this then becomes a "living document" meaning it should be reviewed and updated if required, at regular intervals, after any building works, change of occupancy, and in any case after three years.
Over time as more information becomes known about the building and its residents, the formation of a draft emergency plan is drawn up, which can be reviewed and amended with the help of the residents themselves, along with fire action notices. This dissemination of information is an important part of the five point plan of a fire risk assessment, giving the residents the available information, so that all parties have a holistic and comunal approach to reducing the risk from fire, and emergency procedures.
Click here to download a sample copy of a Fire Risk assessment report Please note, this only forms part of the whole process.
Fires do not just occur, they are the result of a series of unplanned linked events, you, your tenants, neighbours and visitors should be committed to preventing fires. All striving towards a clear and logical approach and good fire prevention rules to help identify areas of improvement.
This calm methodical approach, should help promote the gradual process of changing attitudes and behaviours of all those concerned, towards fire safety, by the process of education and presentation of the common purpose, safety and respect of residents and vistors alike.
"What we dont do" is demand that you purchase fire extinguishers, we feel the same as your local fire authority, the main aim is to get you out of a fire situation as quickly as possible, and not put you in further danger trying to fight a fire, so we would only very rarely recommend extinguishers in residential properties.
If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with us at any time or take a look at our frequently asked questions page.