Fire Safety Information Guide For Landlords.
Landlords are responsible for the fire safety of their tenants. Whilst this is a clear enough statement, the considerations and precautions to be taken are challenging, and will vary depending upon what has been agreed in the lease.
Frequent Questions and Answers for Landlords Relating to Fire Risk Assessments (FRA)
Q. Do I need to carry out an FRA?
A. The person who has control of the premises (landlord or managing agent). That person has to either carry out the fire risk assessment, pass it on to a suitable employee or has to contract out the assessment. Failure to carry out an adequate fire risk assessment or failing to act on its recommendations can result in prison sentences for the fire risk assessor and the responsible person! Multi Occupied Buildings (MOB) require the landlord to carry out FRA’s in the common areas as well.
Q. Do I need to supply my tenants with the FRA?
A. This is not a requirement, but would be good to inform the tenants that an independent fire risk assessment has been carried out on the building.
Q. Do I need to Instruct the tenants that they now need to carry out or update their fire procedures and evacuation plans?
A. Yes, we advise that this should be audited by NR to make sure that businesses have their own FRA, fire procedures and evacuation plan. This way the fire procedures / evacuation plans can be coordinated.
Q. Do I need to assess that they have a suitable fire assembly place and that it is clearly identified with suitable signage and this is then put into the fire tenant’s procedures and evacuation plans?
A. Yes, this is a landlord’s responsibility as it comes under the common areas of the building. Dependant on the number of fire exits and the amount of people in the building at one time, it may be advisable to have multiple assembly points and each business is instructed to go to a particular assembly point. It would also be advisable for the landlord to audit and ensure that each business have carried out a fire drill at least once a year.
Q. Do tenants need to provide the landlord with a copy of their Fire evacuation plans and procedures?
A. Yes, we advise that this should be audited to make sure that businesses have their own FRA, fire procedures and evacuation plan. This way the fire procedures / evacuation plans can be coordinated.
Q. How often should I as a landlord carry out FRA’s?
A. This should be done annually (dependent upon the terms of the lease) and updated when the risks or the building are changed. (This could include change of tenancy or occupancy)
Commercial Property: Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
Landlord and tenant fire safety responsibilities
In commercial property, both the landlord and the tenant normally share fire safety responsibilities. For example, in a multi-occupied office block housing a number of employers, all tenants have responsibilities for those parts of the premises used by their employees. The landlord or managing agent must ensure fire regulations are complied with in common areas. The landlord is responsible for maintaining and checking shared fire safety equipment, such as a fire alarm system covering the whole building.
Fire Safety: Role of the 'appropriate person'
All workplaces, commercial premises and other buildings the public have access to must have a fire risk assessment carried out. The appropriate person must carry out or arrange for a risk assessment of the commercial property. They must also implement and maintain appropriate and adequate fire safety measures to minimise the risk to life from fire.
Fire Safety in Shared Premises
In shared premises, there are likely to be a number of people with responsibilities under the fire safety legislation. Where this is the case, they are expected to:
- co-operate with each other
- co-ordinate with fire safety measures
- share information with each other to ensure the safety of those in or around the premises
The Small Print
The above compilation was done to our best knowledge and only reflects a small part of the relevant fire safety guidance. Certain aspects of fire safety in Buildings e.g. surface finishes and floor coverings in escape routes, fire escape windows, fire exit designs, furniture fire resistance, maintenance regimes and general fire prevention have not been addressed. This text cannot be a replacement for reading the latest legislation. It can also be out of date. This editorial is intended to give the reader a rough overview over this complex area of legislation and recommendations. For a more detailed assessment of individual buildings, the reader is advised to ask a fire risk assessor to visit the premises in question and provide a written assessment.
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