Fire door safety week – protect your tenants
Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017 fire safety has been at the forefront of the minds of tenants and landlords alike. New research conducted by the property consultancy Mcilroy Smith has found that a quarter of people feel more anxious about living in a flat since the tragedy, while around half do not feel adequately prepared in the event of a fire in their property.
It is therefore important that landlords are aware of their fire safety obligations and how to keep their tenants safe and educated on fire safety.
Fire door safety week runs from 24th-30th of September and is aimed at spreading the word about the importance of fire doors in saving lives whilst also protecting property. Both building owners and users can benefit from understanding the importance of fire doors within their property, as they often act as a first line of defence against fire.
Fire door safety week list their key aims as the following:
- To raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.
- To encourage building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and to report those that aren’t satisfactory.
- To link together the initiatives of many organisations with common interests in the fire door and passive fire protection industries.
- To engage and educate people, helping the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of fire doors.
They report that despite the protection that fire doors afford to both people and property they are often a neglected area in many properties. Damaged ineffective and substandard doors pose a significant risk to both you and your tenants and could even be the difference between life and death. Therefore it is important to ensure that all properties have the correct regulation fire doors and are regularly maintained.
Fire Door Safety Week have put together a 5 step fire door check to help make sure that your fire door is adequate. They also offer a range of specific advice for different types of properties such as private rented housing, council and social housing, offices, shops and industrial units, which can be of use to understand the precise requirements these properties have.
Why are fire doors so important?
Fire doors are extremely important because they are able to actively ‘contain’ a fire should it break out. The strict standard and composition of fire doors mean that fire and smoke can be trapped for a defined period of time which not only contains the fire, and stops its spread, but gives people more time to evacuate the building.
The London Fire Brigade also provide detailed information about the importance of correctly fitted regulation fire doors and report that an incorrectly fitted fire door can fail in under 5 minutes, watch a video showing the damage.
What are your responsibilities as a landlord?
Fire Door Safety Week report that in 2015, 58% of all fire door fines were issued to HMO landlords in the UK. In addition, in 2017 27% of insurance claims experienced with a high reserve were as a result of a fire, with the highest fire claim worth £165,000.
As a landlord, by law, you have obligations to protect your tenants from fire. Read more about your fire safety responsibilities and precautions you should take to minimise the risk of fire.
Understanding your responsibilities, equipping and maintaining your property adequately can without doubt help to save lives. For more expert guidance and advice visit the London Fire Brigade and Fire Door Safety Week.
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