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Guest AdeleO

Fire risk assessment in communal areas

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Guest AdeleO

Do we need to do a fire assessment in a house with converted flats due to the communal areas of stairs and hallways? Also do the solid wood front doors to each flat have to be FD30s with self-closers? The conversions were done post-war.

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Yes you do need a fire risk assessment for the common areas and front doors to each flat have to be FD30s with self closers. IMO the best guide to your premises is Lacors guide "HOUSING – FIRE SAFETY Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing" and the DCLG guide Sleeping accommodation

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Guest Jpritch

Would you please advise if it is necessary for a fire risk assessment to be carried out to a newly converted building into 2 flats that share communal stairs and landing. The property has the benefit of a building regulation completion certificate for conversion works.

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Yes you are required to complete a fire risk assessment for the common areas in accordance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 but if you do not employ five or more persons then it does not need to be recorded.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/

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Guest ColinCrim

Dear sirs

we have an owner-run management company which owns the freehold of a building containing 21dwellings (8 terraced houses and 13 flats) We understand that we should carry out a fire risk assessment for those areas which are 'in common' and for which we have responsibility. Can you confirm that this is the case, and direct me to the relevant forms and guidance. We will be completing the risk assessment ourselves and would be grateful for any assistance you can give. Some of these areas are covered access passageways to front doors and are open on one side - would these need to be included as well?

Regards

Colin

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It is the case you are required to conduct a fire risk assessment of all the common areas in a accordance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 the best guidance is Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats and check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/ and http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-risk-assessment/

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Guest WilliamHall

I live in a small block of 6 flats with communal areas for entry/exit. Could you please tell me whether a ' Certicate ' of any nature is required, who would provide it if so,and how often it would need to be carried out.

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There is no thing as a certificate but the common areas are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and require a fire risk assessment. (FRA) Depending on the circumstances the FRA may have to be recorded (a written document) and must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date. As you can see no particular time is stated but most situations annually is considered reasonable.

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Guest Guest Linda

We recently acquired the RTM there are there six flats, 7 residents, in a converted block 3 have their own front doors and 3 share a communal front door and staircase only, there are no other communal areas i.e gardens, we do not employ any third parties for gardening, cleaning etc. The freeholder never carried out a FRA but is now insisting we declare this information to our potential insurers.   Can we carry out a FRA bearing in mind only 3 flats/residents share the communal staircase? Any help would be appreciated     

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I've answered a similar question elsewhere on here - you can if you feel competent using the guidance provided, otherwise you would need to use a suitable third party. The risk assessor as well as the responsible person can be legally liable where an FRA is not suitable and sufficient.

For conversions: http://www.cieh.org/library/Knowledge/Housing/National_fire_safety_guidance_08.pdf

For purpose built: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/publications/-/journal_content/56/10171/3369777/PUBLICATION-TEMPLATE

From https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-safety-law-and-guidance-documents-for-business

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On ‎12‎/‎03‎/‎2015 at 10:38, Tom Sutton said:

It is the case you are required to conduct a fire risk assessment of all the common areas in a accordance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 the best guidance is Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats and check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/ and http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-risk-assessment/

How often do communal areas need to be assessed please? I am struggling to find a definitive answer. Thanks in advance.

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 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, and

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

There is not frequency detailed but most consider 12 months as being reasonable, but it is up to risk assessment.

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Guest Kelly

Please can you advise if a FRA needs to be conducted in a purpose built block of flats communal area?

we are trying to sell and it is causing serious issues. 

Our management Co say no FRA needs to be done as it was built in 2014 and they have had the alarms serviced. 

We have been trying to sell for 18 months now. 

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Your management company (MC) is wrong there should be an FRA conducted in the communal areas. The MC is the Responsible Person under  The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and is responsible for implementing article 8 to 22 with includes conducting a FRA. Check out article 5.

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Guest Murray

Hi there,

Quick question, we're a house that's been converted into three flats with a communal corridor/stairs leading to the three flats. We manage the property and had a Fire Risk Assessment done when one of the flats was sold last year. There were a few recommendations like fit fire alarms, emergency lighting and replacing a worn carpet on the stairs. We've taken those on board and have fitted fire alarms, emergency lights and a new carpet. The company that did the Fire Risk Assessment has sent me an email stating ..  "It is important you review your fire risk assessment annually to ensure your compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  Please let us know a convenient time to carry out this review". This implies its compulsory that we need another assessment using them which we would obviously have to pay for. Am I correct in assuming we don't have to have an annual Fire Risk Assessment with them/or anyone and we can do ourselves especially as we've under taken the major points from the previous assessment?  Thanks for your help.

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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 article 9(3) says "Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date" and does not give a frequency but it is generally accepted that 12 months are reasonable. Yes you can do it yourself if you feel competent, the guide would be HOUSING – FIRE SAFETY Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing.  

Study the legislation and the guide then decide if you are the Responsible Persons and are competent enough to carry out the FRA. 

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