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Guest David

Fire evacuation drill

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Guest David

As a landlord do we have to carry out fire drills in general needs blocks of flats? 

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It's quite clear in the Government Guidance:

"While fire drills and practice evacuations are used in many buildings to reinforce fire awareness training, it is neither practical nor necessary to carry them out in purpose built blocks of flats. Even in blocks with communal fire alarm systems, this is unrealistic.
In large sheltered housing schemes incorporating extensive communal amenities, such as hairdressers, cafeterias and shops, fire drills may be necessary. However, these will still only apply to people present in the common parts. Residents within their flats would not be expected to take part in fire drills"

 

They are unnecessarily intrusive and disruptive to people who are, at the end of the day, in their own private dwelling, not an institute and on the whole are either ignored or result in damage to fire alarm sounders to silence the racket.

Being private dwellings there is no responsibility on occupiers to log whether  they are in or out and so it's impossible to know when to end the drill and timings as you can't be sure if everyone is out or not, most flat blocks are unstaffed with no one to coordinate evacuation . Also most blocks are stay put so no one should leave anyway (not that there should be sounders in the first place.)

It affords no benefit and is a waste of time and money. I've only ever tried it once and after leaving the alarm sounding for half an hour there was still no one leaving even though there were many flats occupied. The only result was two sounders smashed off the wall and several more bunged up with toilet roll.

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