Welcome to the RM Risk Management Blog

This is the area for all things RM news related

Are Living Walls a Fire Risk?

                              Living walls are becoming an increasingly important part of green infrastructure, helping to boost biodiversity in our cities, reduce air pollution, promote well-being, and lay the foundations for a more sustainable future. However, there is a concern about whether they pose a fire risk if not maintained correctly. On June 1, 2022, the government introduced a package of measures to further strengthen and clarify building regulations and fire safety guidance as part of wider reforms to building safety. The update to Approved Document B sets clearer, stronger standards, which in turn sets limits on the combustibility of materials used in the external walls of buildings. The June 2022 update was the culmination of a series of events regarding fire safety compliance requirements for external cladding. Numerous scientific studies confirm that living walls help to clean […]

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What is an Optical Beam Smoke Detector?

                      The most common type of smoke detector is the optical point detector. It contains an infrared light beam projected across a small sensing chamber inside the device. When smoke enters the sensing chamber through the outer holes in the detector’s body, it affects the infrared beam, triggering the device into alarm. The alarm alerts individuals to a fire. Optical beam smoke detectors work on a similar principle, but instead, the infrared light beam is projected across the open area of a building. This effectively transforms the entire building into the sensing chamber. The optical beam detects smoke along the entire beam path, helping to detect fire early and prevent further damage. How does optical beam detection work? When smoke passes through an invisible infrared beam, the solid particles and liquid droplets in the smoke reflect and scatter the photons […]

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Smoke Vents and the Importance of Regular Maintenance

                    Smoke ventilation systems are essential in protecting people and property from the harmful effects of a fire, making them an integral part of a building’s fire safety strategy. These systems go by different names, such as smoke control systems or automatic opening vents (AOVs), but their purpose remains the same – to expel smoke, fumes, and heat out of a building in the event of a fire. Given their critical role in fire safety, maintaining these systems correctly is crucial to ensure the safety of a building and its occupants. How do Smoke Vents work? Smoke ventilation systems play a critical role in fire protection for buildings with more than three floors. In such buildings, the primary cause of fatalities during a fire is not the fire itself but smoke, which reduces visibility and makes evacuation challenging for occupants and fire service […]

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Ensuring Safety: The Importance of Fire Stopping Surveys

  In today’s fast-paced world, ensuring the safety and well-being of occupants within commercial and residential buildings is paramount. As a leading UK-based health and safety consultancy, we understand the critical role that fire safety plays in protecting lives and property. That’s why we’re proud to offer comprehensive fire stopping surveys to our clients, providing them with peace of mind and confidence in their fire safety measures. Why Fire Stopping Surveys are Important: Fire stopping surveys are a vital component of fire safety management within buildings. They involve a thorough inspection of fire stopping systems, which are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through concealed spaces such as walls, floors, and ceilings. Over time, these systems can degrade due to factors such as age, improper installation, or building alterations, compromising their effectiveness in the event of a fire. Regular fire stopping surveys help identify deficiencies or damage […]

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A brief overview of Regulation 38

  Regulation 38 relates to building work concerning the construction, extension, or change of use of buildings. The person carrying out the work must provide fire safety information to the responsible person no later than the completion date of the work, or the occupation date of the building or extension, whichever comes first. Fire safety information includes details about the building’s design, construction, and the services, fittings, and equipment provided, all of which will help the responsible person operate and maintain the building or extension safely. Other terms, such as relevant building, relevant change of use, and responsible person, are defined in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Regulation 38 aims to ensure that the individual in charge of a building possesses enough information related to fire safety to manage the building effectively. The objective of Regulation 38 is to be fulfilled when the building manager has […]

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What is the difference between wet and dry risers?

  Many commercial, industrial and non-residential properties rely on wet and dry risers as a critical part of their fire safety procedures, but what is the difference between these two important features? Although both wet and dry risers do similar jobs, they have fundamental differences. Wet risers are designed for buildings that are taller than 50m, and they have a constant supply of water that can be accessed by emergency services during a fire. This is achieved by using water storage tanks and pumps to create enough pressure to provide a water supply that can tackle any outbreak of fire on every floor of a high-rise building. Wet risers can be located inside or outside a building and feature two outlets that are connected to water pipes, which firefighters will then access to tackle a blaze. On the other hand, dry risers are necessary for buildings taller than 18m, and they are not permanently filled with water. Instead, they make […]

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Why Firewater Risk Assessments Could Save Your Business

Have you ever thought about what would happen to your business if it was affected by contaminated firewater? Did you know that as well as causing untold damage to your business and the environment, it could put you at the risk of being fined, or even prosecuted? It’s something to think about. Having a clear strategy in place to mitigate the risks, and to plan your emergency responses in advance may save you the trouble.   How risk assessments can help Undertaking risk assessments can help you understand if your current processes are good enough, or if you need to put in place some additional measures to deal with any firewater run-off. You can use this information to develop an effective strategy that works for you. You should consider the following: products you store on-site that could become damaged by firewater; the amount of water you think would be needed […]

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Fire Door Inspection

Fire Door Inspection: Why Choose RM Risk Management?

  Choosing a risk management firm isn’t easy, is it? In fact, the task is made harder simply because risk management is so easily misunderstood. Take fire door inspection, for instance. Do you really need an ongoing partnership with a risk management firm to keep on top of something like that? As it turns out, you do.   The benefits of HASAD If you ask RM Risk Management to carry out a fire door inspection, you’ll gain free access to the Health And Safety Advisory Database (otherwise known as HASAD). It’s actually a year’s free license to HASAD, which includes an online repository for your health and safety documentation, the ability to view KPIs on risk status and use interactive reports to monitor your company’s HSE performance. However, before this, we’ll even provide a free one hour’s check of your fire doors to give you an indication of where you […]

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RM Risk Mgt - General Health & Safety Risk Assessment

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 Risk Assessment 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 and fire risk assessment checks, are so important.   The fire safety law Fire safety should never be ignored, but the same goes for general health and safety. It’s why […]

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Legionella Sampling during COVID 19

Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit

A guide to making a commercial property’s water system safe, during periods of low occupancy It’s likely to be in breach of law to simply occupy a building that’s operating at low occupancy or has stood idle. Building Managers need to conduct a Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit and recommission their water systems. To read HSE guidance on what you must do, click here. Alternatively, read our guide below.   Why is it so important to audit water hygiene, at times of low occupancy? Because Legionella bacteria may now be lurking in water systems! It’s vital that we audit water systems now because water usage has been so significantly reduced in commercial properties. And in addition to Legionella risk, drinking water retained within buildings may no longer be potable following a period of prolonged stagnation.   If duty-holders haven’t put a proper recommissioning process in place for their […]

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