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Do flat owners under their own management need fire risk assessment?


Guest LauraGibs
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Guest Dom101

Hi Tom, 

im a share of free holder and therefore require to do a fire risk assessment on the communal areas of the building. Could you point me to the best template/form i could use to complete this risk assessment with.

All the best,

Dom 

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Guest davidtrip

I own a flat in a converted Edwardian building. There is a short communal corridor, stairs, and landing. Can you advise me as to whether I need to carry out a Fire Safety Assessment for this area?

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

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  • 2 months later...

I own a self-contained flat in a block of six flats and I sub-let my flat to private tenants. Do I need to carry out a fire risk assessment for my flat and make it available to my tenants.

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Guest Campbell
On 10/05/2016 at 11:31 AM, Tom Sutton said:

If you surf the web I am sure you will find a number of suitable templates I would suggest http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-risk-assessment/ and http://www.firesafe.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/docs/fra_temp.docwnload FRA Template which  you will need to ammend to suit your own purposes.

Hey Tom,

I live in a Victorian converted house that has been converted into a 1 flat and a maisonette, from reading through all of the Q&A's on here I understand that I will need a fire risk assessment for the very small communal area. Do i fill in the form thinking just about the communal area or thinking about the property as a whole. 

Eg. when a question says 3 .3. DETAILS OF ANY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES PRESENT: does that mean any hazardous substances present in the building as a whole or in the communal areas?

thanks

cam 

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It is unlikely to find  ANY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES  in your situation, in the building as a whole or in the communal areas that section is more for commercial premises like factories. The use of template to record your FRA are designed for all types of premises and for your situation most questions will be irrelevant, so delete them. Study HOUSING – FIRE SAFETY Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing if you feel it is necessary to record you FRA.

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Guest H & S risk survey

Hi - I live in a block of six flats - all the surrounding blocks are managed by the same management company.   I have received an Invoice for £60.00 towards the cost of the 'Health and Safety, fire risk and asbestos' survey.  I have asked for a copy of the survey and Invoice for £360 (6 x £60) relating to my block only.  Does this sum seem excessive?   Should they notify us in advance that the survey is to carried out?

 

Thanks

K

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest JP dev

We own our flat along with another Cpl who also own theirs,The other 3 are rentals over 2 floors The council has decided and informed the landlord who owns these flats  that the flats should have a hardwired smoke detectors and lighting system  to all flats, We have our own portable ones and these incorporate safety lights as well, also to upgrade our front door to a self closing fire door,  Do we as private owners have to follow these demands and also be hardwired into this system at the councils demands or will this demand not incorporate us as private owners, And only mean his rental properties

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The owners/freeholders of the building are subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005  and are required to conduct a fire risk assessment (FRA) of the common areas which include the front door of flats.  The FRA will require all front doors to the flats to be half hour fire resisting, self closing and in the past the courts have required flat occupants to upgrade the front door to the required standard. However the flat itself is not subject to the order but it is recommended a category D (domestic fire alarm hard wired into the mains) should be installed but if you insist on a grade F (operated by a battery only) then it is recommended long life batteries are used.

 

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Sounds like they are treating the rented flats as HMO's because if treated as single private dwellings that are being let as oppose to owned the most they can require is a grade F battery operated smoke alarm in the flat lobby (and each floor landing if a duplex or triplex) and a carbon monoxide detector in each room with a solid fuelled appliance (if any)

Flat front doors should be fire doors, but if not an HMO and just purpose built flats then enforcement of this is not easy and usually it's the landlord or management company for the common areas who has to try and get this achieved, usually via the ground lease conditions.

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Further to my above submission the point I made about requiring flat occupants to upgrade the front door to the required standard, check out http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19935%3Aborough-obtains-injunction-to-assess-property-for-potential-fire-hazards&catid=60&Itemid=28

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Guest Velvetundercoat

Hi I am a freeholder/leaseholder in a purpose - built block of 7 flats, I am also a Surveyor. I am aware that our Management Company have responsibilites for fire safety to the block. However the advice I am seeking is slightly unusual. The block was built in the early 1970s and has only floor boards and joists between the flats with no insulation or fire - proofing whatsoever. This is obviously a nightmare for noise but in the event of a fire would offer zero inter- floor compartmentalisation fire protection between flats. We have installed a communal hard - wired fire alarm system with emergency lighting in the single communal stair well,  serving all seven flats, which is checked annually. However I have broached the compartmenatlisation problem and the fact that most of the flats have not installed self closing 1/2 hour front doors with intumescent strips and they have just ignored me. I feel my only option is to get a enforcement notice served how do I go about this and who to?

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The enforcement authority is the local Fire and Rescue Service and contact them who will arrange an inspection. Depending on the results of that audit they will take the necessary action and if you ask them I am sure they will keep you informed.

Check out  http://www.firesafe.org.uk/uk-fire-rescue-services-details/

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Guest Linda

Hi. 

I have just bought a maisonette in a Victorian conversion. There is one other flat that shares the main front door and hallway with us. The basement flat has its own separate entrance. The two other flats are rented out, we are owner occupiers. The landlords of the two other flats have informed me that we are all required to have L3 fire alarms fitted in our flats by law. However, I thought that only common areas were subject to legislation . Any advice appreciated as we don't want these alarms fitted unless we are breaking the law by not doing so. 

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You need to give more information, you are the owner occupier is it freehold, because this would make you a Responsible Person under  The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 . They could be talking about  The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and they are quoting L3 fire alarms which are for commercial premises not domestic. You need to be more precise what they have said to enable me to give you a reasonable response. 

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Hi,

I am being told that all the flats in our block of flats (9 flats, 3 levels) require a hard wired smoke alarm installed, and that also an asbestos check is required both in the communal areas and inside the flats themselves.  The flats all own a share of the freehold and the flats are managed by some of the residents, and each flat is privately owned.

Surely a non-hardwired smoke alarm is suitable for internally within the flat, and we cannot be forced to pay to have a hard wired alarm installed, thus then not requiring the asbestos check internally in the flat itself?

Thanks,

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I know nothing about the asbestos regulations you will need to talk to Environmental Health.

As far as the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is concerned, as freeholders you are all designated Responsible Persons (RP) and do you have a committee to run the common areas. This committee or management company if you have one is required to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) in the common areas to decide what is required.

The flats are the responsibility of the occupiers and not subject to the RR(FS)O, unless items in the flat are required to protect the common areas, like a FD30s front door and/or a heat detector linked into the common area fire alarm. 

The recommendations for a fire alarm in domestic premises is a grade D which is a smoke alarm wired into the domestic electric supply with battery backup and interlinked if more than one is required. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 23/11/2016 at 10:27 AM, Tom Sutton said:

I know nothing about the asbestos regulations you will need to talk to Environmental Health.

As far as the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is concerned, as freeholders you are all designated Responsible Persons (RP) and do you have a committee to run the common areas. This committee or management company if you have one is required to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) in the common areas to decide what is required.

The flats are the responsibility of the occupiers and not subject to the RR(FS)O, unless items in the flat are required to protect the common areas, like a FD30s front door and/or a heat detector linked into the common area fire alarm. 

The recommendations for a fire alarm in domestic premises is a grade D which is a smoke alarm wired into the domestic electric supply with battery backup and interlinked if more than one is required. 

Tom, thank you very much for your advice, much appreciated.

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There is no set frequency, the fire safety order says,

Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date and particularly if,

(a) there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid;
or
(b) there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates including when the premises, special, technical and organisational measures, or organisation of the work undergo significant changes, extensions, or conversions.

Where changes to an assessment are required as a result of any such review, the responsible person must make them.

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Many enforcing authorities and Courts seem to like an annual review - note that review is not redoing the whole assessment, just checking it's still valid and that the preventative, training  and maintenance regimes are still being done as per the FRA.

Many places doing this will append a memo, letter or short proforma to the FRA each year stating that they have carried out the review and the FRA still stands. If the review reveals the FRA may no longer be correct for whatever reason, then you start the process again and either amend the FRA or produce a whole new one as indicated.

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