This week is Fire Door Safety Week – with landlords reminded of the importance of fire doors in rental homes.
The week-long campaign aims to raise awareness and educate people of the importance of fire doors in commercial, public and multiple occupancy buildings.
Landlords have a responsibility under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) to ensure that their properties and tenants are safe – including a fire risk assessment in the common parts of flats and houses of multiple occupation.
However, organisers say they still hear from landlords who don’t understand their responsibilities, as well as tenants who are concerned about their fire doors, regular prosecutions and deaths that can directly be associated with bad fire door management.
HMO landlords have been advised that fire doors should be checked regularly, and the more they’re used the more frequently they should be checked.
The campaign organisers have issued a list of tips for landlords to ensure they are meeting their responsibilities. They state:
- If you have had a Fire Risk Assessment, make sure doors are covered and the assessor is knowledgeable in this area
- When you do your regular check, identify and include the fire doors, do a 5 Step Fire Door Check.
- If in doubt bring in a professional to carry out a survey – fdis.co.uk
Further advice is available here.
Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week said: “Fire safety in private and public sector rented housing, especially Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and older, less well maintained blocks of flats, continues to be a serious challenge. Yet these are often homes for the people with the fewest choices about where they live and the least opportunity to move.
“We frequently see fire doors in blocks of flats in a poor state of repair; fire doors that won’t close; fire doors that have been wedged open. This is, of course, just one aspect of fire safety in these buildings, but good fire doors are often a sign of good fire safety generally.”
Dan Daly, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at London Fire Brigade, added: “Living in a high rise or purpose built block of flats is no more dangerous than living in a house, but it’s important to know that your fire plan should be different. If there is a fire elsewhere in the building but not inside your home you’re safer staying in your flat unless the flames, heat or smoke are affecting you.”
For more information on Fire Door Safety Week click here.