Changes to your premises?
With many people either Self isolating/working from home or furloughed, landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO’s) and blocks of flats, need to re assess their Fire risk assessment for the changes within their properties.
It is worth considering, with more residents staying in:
- Will there be more use of the cooking facilities?
- Are there more electrical items being used in the premises causing fire hazards?
- Will corridors/escape routes become blocked with items such as toys/bicycles/pushchairs?
- Are doors being propped open so residents to talk to each other?
- Is the alarm adequate to give an early clear warning, so the higher volume of persons can escape safely?
What should you do?
Firstly you can review your current Fire risk assessment and establish if is relevant to the current situation. Do your regular Fire safety checks to:
- Make sure that doors are kept closed where required,
- Ensure escape routes aren’t being blocked,
- Fire Exit doors are in good working order and the lock mechanism works.
- You can also make sure that any waste isn’t building up creating a fire hazard..
- Ensure that the alarm is working and audible.
- If you have flats, it would be a consideration to write to your residents ensuring they are aware to check their own smoke detection/alarms, so they get an early warning of fire in their flat.
- If you have an HMO, make sure that your residents are unplugging power charging equipment when not in use, that cables are not trailing, causing trip hazards.
Your responsibilities are just as important during this current crisis and in some case may be more so. At Fire risk assessments we have vastly reduced our work, to help delay the spread of Covid 19 and to protect our workforce. However Fire risk assessments have been considered within the Key worker role, so should you feel it is essential that your premises has a new Fire Risk assessment, to cover the changes to your premises, please use the contact form or send us an email.
IFSEC have also written an article giving advice for Landlords https://www.ifsecglobal.com/fire-prevention/what-landlords-can-do-for-fire-safety-during-the-covid-19-crisis/