The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 affects employers and those who are responsible for non-domestic, industrial, commercial and residential premises. As a business you are required to comply with this legislation.
If you are the Responsible Person you must make sure that a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment is carried out by a competent person, and that it is recorded.
Read these guides from gov.uk for further advice:
The purpose of the fire risk assessment is to identify potential hazards and risks and those persons at risk, together with any control measures you may need to introduce or have to maintain. You can pass this task to a competent person, however you will still be responsible in law for meeting the order.
Click here for NFCC guidance for choosing a competent person.
For more information on fire safety law and guidance for business, please click here.
Fire Doors Position Statement
Fire doors that separate living accommodation from circulation spaces and protect escape routes are critical to the fire strategy in flats. For this reason all fire doors must be maintained in a way that ensures smoke and heat from the fire remains in the compartment (flat)
where it started for a minimum period (normally 30 minutes). This should delay fire spread and allow safe escape and effective intervention by the Fire Service. They must not be replaced, modified, damaged or held open in any way that will negate their effectiveness.
Fire Rated doors to BS 476-22 or EN1634-1 should be installed as a “door set” (door and surrounding frame) and fitted with:
- 3 fire rated hinges
- Intumescent fire and cold smoke brush/ blade seals that effectively fill the door edge gap preventing smoke leakage
- An effective fire rated positive action self-closing device (rising but hinges are not deemed suitable)
- Glazing, if fitted, should be fire rated and correctly beaded with suitable materials to ensure the integrity of the door
- Any door furniture such as handles, grills letterboxes or spyholes must also be fire rated
All flat entrance and escape route protection doors must have certification demonstrating they meet the required performance standard (normally 30 minutes) from both sides.
If the door is a plain “solid blank” type door, testing one side of the door is normally sufficient to ensure it meets the minimum requirements from both sides.
Door sets made from “other” or composite materials, with glazing and beading, which may compromise the integrity of the “door blank” must
be tested in a way that ensures the weaker side of the door (normally the modified side) meets the minimum requirement.
If the Fire Door fails its regular maintenance check and cannot be repaired effectively it must be replaced with a certified door set.
Gas Cylinders Position Statement
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service does not have any involvement or hold any responsibility for the disposal of empty/partially empty pressurised cylinders. This includes not just Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) but any other cylinders that hold gas or liquefied gasses under pressure.
We recognise the dangers that carelessly managed/disposed of cylinders pose to both the Community and Firefighters particularly if they become involved in fire so offer the following advice.
When a gas cylinder is empty or no longer required then the simplest and best way to dispose of it is return it to the supplier. Identify the owner and drop it at the local depot or request that it be collected. There is normally no charge for this.
To identify the owner, look at the label on the cylinder. If this is not obvious the name of the owner is usually permanently marked on the cylinder, for example stamped into the metal on the shoulder of the cylinder.
Gas cylinders are the property of the gas supplier. Contact details for suppliers are available on the information aid opposite.
Alternatively, call the Liquid Petroleum Gas Association on 08457626379 for advice or contact your Local Council and check if they accept gas cylinders at the recycling centre.
Short-Term Letting Accommodation Position Statement
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in line with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) consider the safety of paying guests at properties providing short-term letting accommodation a priority. People hosting at these properties must recognise that Fire Safety Regulations apply to all properties providing accommodation to paying guests. Those people guesting at short-term letting properties should expect a reasonable level of fire safety precautions to be in place. It they are not suitable and sufficient and are reported to our Service, responsible persons will be robustly challenged. (See link below for reporting a concern).
Safety Tips for Hosts Homes
- Install smoke and heat detectors in accordance with the current revision of the British Standard for domestic fire detection and alarm systems (BS 5839 part 6). You may need to seek advice from a competent person or company.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer. Gas appliances should be tested annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If the property has wood or coal burning appliances the chimney should be swept a minimum of twice per year
- Prevention is key, keep flammables away from sources of ignition. Toasters should not be positioned or installed under wall mounted units. Avoid the use of free standing heaters during rental
- All electrical appliances should be correctly fused and regularly checked for condition. Any extension leads and sockets must not be overloaded or used unsuitably (e.g. ran under carpets and through door openings)
- It is good practice to ensure all doors are closed as part of a bedtime routine. All guests should be encouraged to follow this good practice
- Have an escape plan in place that is communicated to both your family and your guests
Further information is available by following this link the government's website, Do you have paying Guests?
If wish to register a concern about any short-term letting property in the Humber region that you have been a guest at follow this link to our contact page.
Stay Put Position Statement
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service works with Local Authorities, developers, managing agents, housing providers and tenants to ensure that Fire Safety Arrangements in high-rise accommodation and other flats are safe and appropriate.
The advice we provide is based on the fire precautions installed during construction including compartmentation, protection of escape routes and discussion on emergency procedures put in place by the building managers.
In normal circumstances, if there is a fire contained within a single flat, the advice is that the occupiers of that flat evacuate closing doors behind them and leave via the stairs. They should call 999 as soon as they are in a place of relative safety.
The walls, floors, ceilings and doors of flats internally and externally if properly constructed and not modified in a way that reduces the fire protection should contain the fire within the compartment long enough to allow safe and effective intervention by the Fire Service.
If there is a fire in another part of the block it is usually safer to remain in your flat unless affected by heat and/or smoke from the fire.
You should still call the Fire Service for advice and to ensure they have been mobilised. You should prepare to evacuate. You should evacuate:
- If the fire/smoke spreads
- If you are advised by a Fire Service Control Operator
- If you are advised by Fire Crews at the incident
This advice is given to allow building managers and tenants to develop an “initial safe escape plan”.
As incidents can and do change, the risk to occupiers is constantly being re-evaluated. You must be ready to react swiftly to changing advice.