General Health & Safety Risk Assessment: As Important as Fire Risk Assessment?
The horrific Grenfell Tower incident in 2017 ushered in a new, intense focus on fire safety. This is absolutely essential, but it has inadvertently resulted in some property managers overlooking the rest of their health and safety duties on site. Assessment of fire safety shouldn’t detract from the importance of conducting regular General Health & Safety Assessments and Inspections. For instance, when a guest at the White Hart Hotel in Upton-upon-Severn tragically fell to their death from an open window in 2015, subsequent investigations discovered that low-cost alterations to the window height could have prevented their death. Overlooking risks with low probability but high severity can lead to dire consequences. So, today, we’ll reveal why general health and safety checks, and assessments are so important. The law Fire safety should never be ignored, but the same goes for general health and safety. It’s why The Health and Safety at […]
Fire Stopping Surveys – Taking Action
What is Fire Stopping? Fire stopping is the sealing of gaps, breaches or issues found around fire resistant floors, doors and construction. It is a range of compliant products that are installed to help slow the spread of fire through a building. The materials used in a fire stop must be able to resist fire for a reasonable period of time. Sometimes, fire stopping is not applied correctly or even at all by contractors, at times when construction or refurbishment or minor works occur within a property. If there is no fire stopping around the engineered fire resistant areas, if it has been incorrectly installed or if cracks and openings are appearing around existing fire stopping, this ultimately puts lives at risk. Do I need a Fire Stopping Survey? In order to determine whether there are any issues, a Fire Stopping Survey needs to be conducted. A Fire Stopping Survey, […]
Taking Fire Safety Seriously
A few weeks ago, Fire Safety Matters reported that more than 7,000 Londoners are to get new fire doors. This is part of a £9,000,000 project to upgrade fire doors in six London boroughs across twelve City of London Corporation-run housing estates. All front, communal and fire escape doors will be replaced in over 2,300 homes, ensuring that there is an enhanced up to 60 minute fire resistance. This enormous project comes down to one simple thing: keeping residents safe. Since the Grenfell Tower incident, there has been a new focus on residents’ safety, and it is the duty of all responsible organisations and people to make sure that all the necessary steps are taken to minimise any risks when it comes to fire. Big Costs One of the more recent cases to hit the news that demonstrates how important fire safety is has been the incident in Palmer’s Green. […]
Quarterly Fire Door Surveys to become law
Following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the upcoming fire safety bill will state that fire door surveys will need to be conducted in all blocks of flats, every three months. Changes in legislation The FIA (Fire Industry Association) last week reported upon this proposed big change in the law. Currently there is no specific legislation in place that requires fire doors surveys to be underaken, but these sorts of assessments play a huge role in fire safety. Although changes such as the fire door surveys have come about following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report, the report in itself only stated that “all fire doors, including their closers, should be routinely checked or inspected by a suitably qualified professional.” However, it seems the government wants to take this more seriously and it will be insisting on checks every three months. The FIA’s article highlighted that “Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has stated that […]
What are the different types of Fire Strategy & does a building need one?
In recent years, the fire safety industry has had a massive shake-up. Events such as the Grenfell Tower fire and other large-scale fire disasters has meant that more duty holders are starting to ask the necessary questions when it comes to fire safety. Some property owners have reconsidered their Fire Strategy and many have begun to explore the different types of Fire Strategy services that are available, as they question which type is required for their buildings. A Fire Strategy acts as ‘the bible’ for a building’s fire safety measures and consolidates all building information into one report. Consulting a Fire Strategy usually answers any questions relating to fire safety in a building. Having a Fire Strategy means it’s a lot easier to review fire safety measures and make certain decisions – on safe occupancy levels for example. Having said this, fire strategies often go missing during a building’s sale […]
Tier 3 NAFRAR Accreditation for RM MD
Tony Fogarty, Managing Director at RM Risk Management, has been accredited and approved to be entered onto the Tier 3 National Accredited Fire Risk Assessors Register (NAFRAR). Tier 3 is a list of individuals who are able to carry out Fire Risk Assessments on high risk and complex buildings. They have registered through a process that has recognised their achievement at the highest standards and levels of competency for fire risk assessors that is available. Tony says, “There is a great deal involved in any Fire Risk Assessment, but with high risk or complex buildings it’s even more important to know what you’re doing. We pride ourselves in giving our clients the best support possible, and that means we believe in training and development and always understanding what is happening in the area of risk.” Tier 3 is the highest tier on the Fire Risk Assessors Register, a system set […]
Tenants at Risk from Failed Actions
The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has issued a report claiming that Runnymede Borough Council failed to meet the necessary regulations regarding electrical certification and Fire Risk Assessments work management and subsequently put tenants at risk. Two of Runnymede Borough Council’s developments were reported upon. Firstly a 17-storey tower block, and then also a sheltered housing scheme. The report stated that “relevant required actions were identified in two successive Fire Risk Assessments dating back to 2018 for the tower block, and 2017 for the sheltered scheme.” It then further stated that Runnymede Borough Council “has had no reliable means of evidencing, across its homes, the completion of remedial actions arising from Fire Risk Assessments.” Runneymede Borough Council has a legal responsibility to provide for the health and safety of occupants in their homes, however the RSH concluded that the Council “did not have an effective system in place to allow […]