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Everything posted by Hayfever

  1. Thanks Tom, I do hope common sense would prevail here Unlike the HSE who have already issued more relaxed guidance, I have yet to see any such advice from fire safety enforcement authorities. Indeed, an enquiry I made with the London Fire Brigade's Fire Safety Dept has not even been acknowledged, let alone answered after 7 working days. I am sure there will be restrictions on non-essential staff travelling to non operational roles such as fire safety depts, but communication and reassurance surely must be a key role for the fire service at present? Take care
  2. I am the building manager of a very large office building in central London providing 24/7 critical national services. The occupancy of the building is usual around 5,000 persons. Due to a COVID-19 strategy, the workforce in the building has reduced to around 380 who are spread across 78,000m2 of floor space. We usually maintain 200 Fire Wardens, but with such a reduction in staff numbers, the vast majority of them are at home and unable to carry out their core functions in an emergency - i.e. sweep an area of the building during an evacuation. Therefore we are unable to account for our staff for the foreseeable future We have considered our options which include gathering staff together on one floor or area. However, due to the processes carried on in this building, we are unable to due so, and the few remaining staff are spread out across the premises. Plus, the 380 staff that remain in the office are working long hours with minimal breaks, so it is not possible to stop them to provide training or briefings to equip them to undertake this role. In any case, the notion of not having enough staff to allow pairs of Wardens sweeping floors is untenable. In any case, we have curtailed all but essential meetings which makes training difficult. Due to our location, work carried out and difficulty producing a register of staff present it is not possible to introduce a roll call accounting system. I am at a loss as how to proceed. It is likely that these temporary staffing measures will be in place for many months and during that time I fear we cannot comply with fire safety legislation in respect of accounting for staff. This 'best endeavours' approach is nowhere near as resilient as our usual procedure. Do you think the fire safety enforcers/courts would be lenient at a time of national crisis? All of our fire safety infrastructure and processes are still in place, including PEEPS and a system of evacuating disabled staff (although ALL of those will be at home), its just the accounting for staff side of the procedure we can't do. I believe this falls under Article 11and Article 15 of the RRO I would be grateful for any views and opinions
  3. I strongly disagree with this view. Virtually all Schools have open evenings and some catering for older kids will have evening productions and events. Whilst these events may be very occasional - which of course lowers the risk - the vulnerability of large groups of schoolchildren surely make EL a must for 99.9% of educational premises. Then there's the cleaners, teachers and assistants working late (or early!) and perhaps maintenance staff/contractors - all of which are relevant persons.
  4. Thank you Tom It does seem a little wrong that leaseholders can be charged for the costs of a FRA, and/or for the work that arises from the significant findings, but have no rights to see the report When the leaseholders have been asked/told to replace their front doors,(for safety reasons) surely they come under Article 5(4) and are RPs in their own right?? (the RP in this case is a large local authority in London)
  5. What rights do owner occupiers (leaseholders) have in relation to getting sight of a Freeholder's Fire Risk Assessment in residential flats? Specifically, when a 'landlord' asks for new front doors, or any other work or alteration that may effect a leaseholder, can the leaseholder demand to see the FRA findings to ensure they aren't being being ripped off?
  6. I am responsible for fire safety for a number of premises that simply cannot close down completely as their processes need to be run 24/7 During the planning of a fire drill, team leaders request exemptions from senior managers and such exemptions are only granted sparingly (say 40/50 persons in a building with an occupancy of 4,000+) Those names exempted are recorded and managers are asked to rotate staff so they take part in the next drill. In the meanwhile, those exempted must take part in team fire briefings in lieu of missing the drill within 4 weeks Fire drills are there to audit the effectiveness of procedures and test staff knowledge. They are not aimed at costing the business excessive amounts or closing down essential production, so I would argue exempting staff to answer phones is not a deal breaker
  7. Thanks Tom It all sounds a bit vague and round the houses doesn't it? Thanks for your views as it seems what we are doing is appropriate & compliant Hypothetically speaking: If I have my procedures, FRA, and policy available to staff on the intranet (recorded). And my staff are trained periodically as req by Article 21 and any visitors will be accompanied so do not need any guidance - then I am covered I would argue. I also wonder whether FANs could be included in Article 15(1)(a) in that to 'give effect' (see below) one needs to communicate the procedures to staff and others??? 15.—(1) The responsible person must— (a)establish and, where necessary, give effect to appropriate procedures, including safety drills, to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to relevant persons; But again, its not really clear! Thanks
  8. I am struggling to find any regulatory requirement for 'Fire Action Notices' I find the whole concept of installing them by manual call points impractical as most MCPs are on the approach to staircases (or within staircases), in corridors, or at final exits - not the best place for staff or anyone to stop and read them at their leisure - especially during an evacuation!! I believe these FAN locations are a legacy from Fire Certification - or the guides that supported the Fire Precautions Act. I am not anti FANs, but have adopted a more pragmatic approach and place FANs in lifts, above urinals and on the back of toilet doors - places where by necessity - people linger and often want something to read!!! We have had two fire safety inspectors comment on the lack of FANs in their traditional locations at our premises - and have received a Notice of Fire Safety Deficiency from one authority which we will ignore until such time the fire service concerned point us towards the regulation they want to enforce (they have failed to reply to two e-mails requesting that info) I would appreciate your views
  9. Let's not forget that the Fire Safety Order states: Article 13 (1) : 'where necessary '..... 'the responsible person must ensure'..... Article 13(1) a: 'the premises are'.........'equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment' Article 13(1) b: 'and (is) indicated by signs My take on the 'where necessary' part is that where, subject to an RA, the location of the extinguisher is not readily obvious to those wishing to use it (ie. within a cabinet or behind a curtain etc), signage is required, elsewhere it's simply good practice and not a requirement
  10. Is it permissible for the magnetic door holders to be isolated during the weekly fire alarm test (so they do not release the doors), and instead test the door closers with the weekly fire alarm test once a month (say the first fire alarm test of the month??)
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