Fire Risk Assessment for Privately Held and Social Houses

Under the Fire Safety Order the landlord is responsible for the overall safety of people within the building from fire. The Fire Safety Order does not apply to an individual dwelling but it does apply to the building as a whole. Fire safety within the individual dwelling is subject to the Housing Act.

apartment blockThe landlord as the Responsible Person has to ensure that in the event of a fire in a dwelling all the other occupants of the building are safe. The issues raised are the evacuation policy, will the other occupiers of the building be safe to stay in their accommodation or does the entire building have to be evacuated? What type of fire alarm system is needed? How safe are the exit routes?

These issues need to be addressed by a fire risk assessment.

There are 4 types of surveys that can be carried out.

Type 1 represents an assessment of the common parts of the building only (non-destructive). The common parts are assessed together with a sample of the front doors and concealed areas, where they can be easily accessed without actually damaging the construction of the building.

Type 2 is an assessment of the common parts only as – with the Type 1 survey – but there is a degree of destructive investigation carried out. This will need a competent contractor both to open up the building and make good the damage following the investigation.

Type 3 goes beyond the scope of the Fire Safety Order (but not the Housing Act) and looks at the means of escape and fire detection within a sample of the dwellings and the spread of fire between the flats.

Type 4 is similar to a Type 3 but a degree of destructive investigation is required as with a Type 2 assessment.