Measures landlords can take to ensure fire safety during the Coronavirus pandemic

26 May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected each and every one of us and the way we live and work. With more people than ever working from home and staying indoors, there’s an increased level of risk in regards to fire safety. In light of this, it’s important that the fire safety procedures within living spaces, particularly blocks of flats and apartments, are reviewed. 

With this in mind, we’ve put together some considerations for landlords to ensure their premises are as safe as possible for residents:

Carry out regular fire safety inspections 

With people at home for large parts of the day, this of course has implications for the fire safety of a home or building. By law, fire risk assessments are required when there is a significant change to a property. As this represents a significant change, it’s important that landlords carry out a new assessment to guarantee that the existing measures are acceptable and will still be relevant in the event of a fire.

Keep fire exits and routes clear at all times 

It’s now more than ever that escape routes should be kept clear to ensure residents can utilise the fire exits safely and efficiently in case they need to do so. By undertaking regular inspections and placing ‘keep clear’ signs near the designated emergency exits, you can be sure that all fire exits are kept clear of obstructions, allowing people to use them properly if required.

Assess the fire alarm system if installed

Some blocks of flats and HMO’s may be provided with a common fire alarm, or to operate AOV’s (automatic opening vents). Of course, it is critical that fire alarms tests should still be carried out in line with the current legal regulations. It is also important to consider assessing the current fire alarm system in place in your building. With more people inside their living spaces at the same time, you need to ensure that the fire detection within your flat is in excellent working order.

Make adjustment to fire safety measures

Even if your current fire alarm system is fully operational, it could still be worth considering investing in an improved fire alarm or additional safety measures in your building. For example, a sprinkler system – which not only helps save lives, but also helps decrease the amount of damage a fire can cause.

Now is the time to evaluate the fire safety procedures in place at your premises. Even as life begins to return to normal, government advice is for people to stay indoors as much as possible in order to contain the virus. By adhering to the points mentioned above, landlords can minimise risk and ensure the safety of residents. If you’d like any further advice on conducting fire risk assessments, get in touch with the team at Total Fire Group. We’ve developed fire risk management software which can help manage and coordinate fire safety tasks seamlessly.

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