Following the recent changes in fire door regulations, are your buildings compliant?
Landlords and asset managers across England must now ensure their buildings conform to new legislation surrounding fire doors – meaning quarterly checks must be undertaken. Can you be sure your building is compliant?
What do the new fire safety regulations mean for you?
As of 23 January 2023, the government’s Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 have made it a legal requirement for ‘responsible persons for all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with storeys over 11 meters in height to undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts, and undertake annual checks of all flat entrance doors that lead onto a building’s common parts.’
The regulations also require ‘responsible persons to provide to residents of all multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises (that have common parts) information on the importance of fire doors to a building’s fire safety.’
Can you be confident the fire doors in your building comply, and are you able to carry out the regular checks the new regulations demand? This is where LOWE can help.
How we put safety first
At LOWE, we take personal responsibility for the safety of both the buildings we’re entrusted with and our property guardians who live or work in them. In fact, as part of our vacant property management solutions we’ve always undertaken regular fire door checks, even before the legislation came in to force.
“Safety is our absolute priority – we won’t ever cut corners.” That’s the passionate view of Andre, our Head of Property Services, whose accredited team are dedicated to the safety of the buildings we protect and maintain.
“Fire is the number one issue when considering the safety of a building,” explains Andre. “The risk of fire is, understandably, a major concern of our clients. For us, mitigating that risk is absolutely key, in fact it’s non-negotiable: we have to get it right.”
A trusted team
Within our Property Services Team we have three experienced fire risk assessors, each fully-accredited with the industry-standard NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management.
“They undertake fire risk assessments of every new building we take on,” says Andre. “These detailed checks include assessing alarms and detectors, fire doors, strips and seals on the doors, fire routes and escape plans, and safety lighting. Anything we need to rectify or replace is undertaken by our in-house maintenance team to ensure the building is compliant.”
Our dedicated team undertakes regular checks and inspections of each and every building we look after, giving peace of mind to our clients and to our property guardians. This includes:
– Fire alarm & detector testing
– Fire route inspections, ensuring corridors and exits are clear
– Fire door inspections
– Emergency lighting checks
– Room inspections
– Checking fire policy compliance (no candles, no smoking, no blow-heaters, not overloading electrical sockets and not storing unnecessary combustible material)
– In accordance with new regulations, we inspect all fire doors (including self-closing devices) every three months.
– Fire drills for our property guardians
– Specialist contractors inspect the fire safety systems of our buildings twice a year.
Working with our property guardians
Not only do we ensure the safety of the building, we work in partnership with our guardians to provide them with knowledge to keep themselves, and the building, safe from the risk of fire.
Andre explains: “We carry out fire safety training sessions with all our property guardians, when they first move in to the building and at regular intervals. They must understand our fire policy, know the fire escape routes and what to do in the event of a fire, and the rules around fire safety.
“We have clear safety signage – a poster at the entrance of each building features a floor plan and tells our guardians where the fire exits are, and the fire safety rules they must follow. All electrical items must be PAT-tested, fire drills are held quarterly, and as each building is unique it has its own specific policy tailored to the type of property.”
Improving fire safety in the buildings we maintain
At LOWE we routinely improve the fire safety of each building we take on. We recently asked took over a former care home in Walthamstow, previously managed by another company. The property was in a poor condition, and lack of maintenance had led to issues with the electrics and the fire alarm system – meaning it was unsafe to have people living there. Sadly, this is all too common in unoccupied properties.
Within six-weeks our team rectified all the issues, ensured the property was fully H&S compliant and met strict fire safety regulations. Now the revamped building is home to our carefully vetted property guardians while our client can rest assured the property is being properly maintained and safely occupied.
Andre’s proud of the care his team takes when it comes to safety. “Not only do we fully comply with all British standard fire regulations but we’re ahead of the game, going above and beyond what’s required.
“We respect the buildings we look after and the people who live and work in them. Our clients give us the keys, and can be confident that we take care of the rest.”
At LOWE, we can protect your vacant property – ensuring it is compliant, secure and safe – while also creating meaningful meanwhile use. We offer property guardianship, affordable workspace and charitable occupation; innovative solutions that breathe life into empty buildings and give you peace of mind.
Find out how we can protect your vacant property while giving it a new purpose – visit our contact page or call 0207 8560171.