Fire Safety Regs For Blocks Of Flats

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  • Fire Safety Regs For Blocks Of Flats

    I've just bought a purpose built block of 21 flats spread across 3 storeys.

    It was built in the mid 60's and contains no fire doors, emergency lighting, smoke alarms, fire alarm or fire escapes. There are 4 exits on the ground floor but none on upper floors and no means of escape except out the windows or up through a hatch onto a flat roof, which I am sure would only delay your problems if there was indeed a fire.

    I'm well aware i've got my work cut out for me and the purchase price did reflect various items of work needed!

    My question is where do I go to find out the fire safety regs which apply to this building? I'm keen to start work on safety matters immediately but was not sure whether to approach the council, the fire dept, or some other body....

    I want to make it safe, and legal, but have minimum involvement of any 'jobsworth' inspector, many of which I have come across in the past :-(

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    Fire requirements

    You have two things to do here. Firstly you must satisfy the local authority requirements by asking them what you require. That's the building department. This is changing this year, so they may refer you to a fire officer, who will carry out a risk assessment for you, and advise you what is required. Then you get estimates for the work from contractors. This is going to be a pain, but the local authority are the ones who enforce these rules, so let THEM tell you what they require. This may be a full alarm system and Emergency lighting through corridors and communial areas, or just linked smoke alarms.

    Secondly, you have to satisfy the common sense factor. These are the obvious things that a risk assessment may take for granted and be overlooked.

    Hope this helps

    Elektratek Ltd.

    For information only. No responsability is taken for any actions performed by use of this posted message.


    • #3
      Sorry, I'm a bit behind responding on thread.

      The Fire Officer will most definitely NOT do a risk assessment for you!
      New fire regulations come into force on the 1st October 2006 which make the landlord (almost certainly in your case) the 'responsible person'. You must do the risk assessment, or pay someone else to do it and ensure the fire safety of your tenants 'as far as is practicable'.
      The block also seems to come under the definition of a licensable HMO under the Housing Act 2004 so the local housing officer will want to look at the premises as well.
      From what you say, fire doors (at £400 a set) an alarm, (a few thousand) and emergency lighting (another thousand) could be required. You will also, because of the age of the premises need to look closely at the fire resistance of floors and ceilings between the flats.

      Sorry to spoil your Sunday.


      • #4
        Fire doors should be fitted and certified as part of a door and frame set! That should bump up the labour costs.


        • #5
          If the purpose built block consists entirely of self contained units it wont be licensable under mandatory HMO licensing.


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