Due to a number of high-profile crisis situations, there is increasing concern regarding the safety of residential buildings across the United Kingdom. Despite a number of fire safety regulations being in place, many tenants are concerned that their landlords are failing to meet their duties.
Whilst fire safety regulations can help to provide tragedies from occurring, they will only be effective if they are followed. Strict adherence to such regulations can prevent fires from occurring but they can also ensure there is an effective escape route if a fire does break out.
By assessing key areas, such as fire exits and communal areas in flats, potential hazards can be identified and removed prior to an emergency situation. Fire exits, for example, should always be kept clear. Whilst they may not be used regularly, a blocked fire exit could result in unnecessary fatalities if a fire breaks out and may even constitute a breach of the law.
What are landlord responsibilities?
When it comes to landlord responsibilities, health and safety is of primary importance. If residents have concerns regarding the safety of their home, it’s vital that they have a point of contact.
Whilst landlords aren’t always responsible for communal areas in flat, they are in many cases. Furthermore, if employees or contractors need to enter a building, they are within their rights to refuse to work if a fire assessment has not been carried out.
Due to this, most landlords are keen to include communal areas in any fire risk assessments. By doing so, they can ensure a safe home environment for tenants and a safe working environment for employees or maintenance workers.
Conducting regular fire risk assessments
An effective fire risk assessment isn’t just a one-off requirement. Committing to a regular assessment schedule will ensure that buildings are kept up-to-date in terms of fire safety and that they conform to the latest regulations and standards. In addition to this, materials, such as fire extinguishers, can be checked to ensure that they are still in good working order.
Whilst landlords may face vast amounts of regulations and bureaucracy, there is nothing more important than health and safety. By organising fire risk assessments, landlords can avoid criminal prosecutions, civil lawsuits and costly insurance premiums, as well as saving lives and preventing catastrophic tragedies from occurring. Contact us today to discuss a fire risk assessment further.