We receive many enquiries for advice around communal areas. To the surprise of many, it is a legal requirement to have a fire risk assessment in place for communal areas. Whether it’s a purpose-built block of flats or a converted house, many of these calls are from tenants who are selling a flat and have been informed by their solicitors that they need an assessment, completely oblivious that they should have had one all along.
Fundamentally your safety relies on being compliant and all tenants knowing what to do in order to be safe and compliant. For example, staircases and hallways will be your main escape route – you shouldn’t leave pushchairs, bikes or any other obstructions in these areas. You may have lovely front doors that let in the light, but are they fire doors that will protect yourself and others in the event of a fire? Do you have the correct alarm system for the evacuation policy that should be in place? Do you know what your evacuation policy is?
Ensure you are safe and compliant
A fire risk assessment report covers all aspects of fire safety and is an eye-opener to tenants who have never really taken fire precautions as a serious matter. We have heard of companies advising that a fire risk assessment isn’t needed for a communal area, but this isn’t the case. It is a legal requirement to ensure your safety and could also help foster good communication between tenants, building better relationships and community spirit. Everybody needs good neighbours!