Letting agents and property managers of blocks of flats with fire doors are being warned over their fire safety responsibilities.
The warning has come in the lead up to Fire Door Safety Week, which is taking place from September 14-20.
‘The rates of fire deaths and casualties are reducing, but there are still an average of 25 fatalities or injuries from building fires every day,’ said Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week. ‘Fire doors are a crucial first line of defence in many of these fires, and yet they remain a significant area of neglect,’ he continued.
Mansell went on to say, ‘ten years on from a new law being introduced, fire door failure is still a consistent feature of prosecutions. Just this year alone we know of hundreds of thousands of pounds of fines and prison sentences for people who have failed to meet their fire safety responsibilities.’ She claims that the organisation finds faults in fire doors in privately rented accommodation far too frequently.
Sponsors of fire safety week include the National Landlords Association and the Federation of Private Residents’ Association.
Warning to take fire safety seriously
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005, employers or people who are known to have control over a premises are permitted to carry out fire risk assessments and to subsequently act accordingly. This person is known as the responsible person.
A full fire risk assessment should highlight actions that need to be taken to ensure the building is sufficiently permitted from fire. This assessment must be reviewed annually and amended as soon as changes are made to a building.
Despite this, the organisers of Fire Door Safety Week have said that since the act was introduced in 2005, there has been a continual stream of prosecutions against property owners, landlords and letting agents.