When managing a flat, there is a wide range of safety and maintenance aspects that you are responsible for. There is not much more important than fire safety, and you must ensure that you’re abiding by legal fire regulations for blocks of private flats. This can include organising a residential fire risk assessment when buying a flat, and much more. To find out more about fire safety in flats, continue reading this guide from North West Fire Solutions.

What are a landlord’s obligations?

There are strict laws set in place in the United Kingdom to ensure that landlords and property management agents ensure the safety of their tenants. The person responsible for a block of flats must take steps to prevent fires from breaking out in communal areas and protect escape routes. There should also be clear instructions handed to tenants on what to do if a fire breaks out.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the responsible person to undertake regular reviews of their fire safety procedures of the property, put in place adequate fire safety precautions and ensure all escape routes are available, as well as others.

Flat fire doors must be in full working order without obstruction to ensure that all residents can escape the building safely in the event of a fire. Smoke alarms must also be installed. According to the Fire Safety Order 2005, there should be at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the flat that is used as living accommodation. They must be tested on the first day of each new tenancy.

You can ensure that your smoke alarms are in good working order with regular property inspections. It’s also good practice to test them monthly, so it’s important to inform your tenants of this.

Fire safety tips for flats

First of all, all landlords and property management agents should ensure that regular and up-to-date fire risk assessments have been carried out on the premises. When a new tenant moves into the property, they should be given a copy of the fire risk assessment.

For low-rise blocks of flats of up to three storeys above the ground, and built within the last 20 years, it’s recommended that fire risk assessments should be reviewed every year and redone every three. This regular maintenance ensures that you are up-to-date with the fire regulations for blocks of private flats.

Block management fire risk assessment is incredibly important to ensuring the overall safety of your tenants. The fire risk assessment will point out deficiencies in the current safety procedure and highlight changes to be made in order to bring the premises up to code.

Another key factor to ensuring the fire safety of your property is up to adequate standards is to check communal areas. All communal areas must be free of blockages so that, in the event of a fire, everybody can escape safely through the flat’s fire doors.

In regards to escaping the building, if a fire breaks out, there must be an evacuation plan available and well-known to residents. This is so they can safely escape the building and get to safety points. Without one, there may well be confusion within the building, which is especially dangerous in such a high-stress situation.

Finally, if any alterations to the flat’s fire doors are planned, ensure that all possible outcomes have been evaluated in regard to their fire safety. If any changes are made, this must be reflected in the evacuation plan so residents are aware.

Fire safety in flats with NW Fire Solutions

At NW Fire Solutions, we’re experts in fire safety and can provide a wealth of services to landlords, property management agents and even tenants. From block management fire risk assessments and fire door surveys to property inspections, compartmentation surveys, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0151 665 0124, or email us at info@nwfiresolutions.co.uk.