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A few questions regarding fire safety in flat

Guest Fred

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Hi all, 

I'm a landlord of a flat in a residential block (maybe around 20 years old). There are a few questions that I've been trying to find answers to online but it's not been very straightforward, I'm hoping people here can help! 


1) Does the fire door which is the "external door" for the flat leading out to the communal hallway need to have a thumb lock on the inside by law or is it just a recommendation. 

2) When a fire alarm beeps but it's a false alarm and this leads to a forced entry to the property, are there any responsibility on the fire alarm company for this given the alarm is only under a year old?

3) My property management company did some checks to my flat and installed some things that look like alarms in the flat. They only obtained my permission to inspect the front fire door and not for installation of anything. Is this legal? I have not been told what they are, how they work or what else they may have installed. 

Many thanks, Fred. 

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1) Guidance states that "It is strongly recommended that the exit door from each unit of accommodation (bedsit or flat) is also openable from the inside without the use of a removable key." so you don't have to. If you ever replace the door and furniture the general expectation would be the new door would comply

2) Not unless it was due to proven equipment failure, which is very uncommon. False alarms are usually caused by the occupants.

3) Possibly, it sounds like the premises may have changed evacuation strategy (possibly due to poor cladding or firestopping) and the communal alarm system has had to be extended into the flats to facilitate full evacuation - if they didn't do this they could face Prohibition action from the fire service in which case you wouldn't have any tenants or rent as the building would be vacated. It might not be this at all, but it is common.

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