Making a property’s water system safe post lockdown

A guide to recommissioning water systems in commercial properties It is unacceptable and likely to be in breach of law, to simply re-open a building that has stood idle, without recommissioning its water system. As the focus is on signage & sanitation right now, making a property’s water system safe post lockdown is something that many property managers are overlooking. To read HSE guidance on what you must do, click here. Alternatively, feel free to read our guide to recommissioning water systems in commercial properties, below.   Why is it so important to assess water hygiene, at this time? Because Legionella bacteria may now be lurking in water systems! It is vital that we assess water systems now because water usage has been so significantly reduced in commercial properties during lockdown. And in addition to Legionella risk, drinking water retained within buildings may no longer be potable following a period of […]

Outsource your COVID-19 Risk Assessment here

COVID-19 Risk Assessments can be a daunting prospect for many companies. Outsource your COVID-19 Risk Assessment here with RM’s new COVID-19 Risk Assessment Service. The COVID-19 Risk Assessment is the first of 5 steps to working safely that the UK government expects duty holders to complete before restarting work, following the Coronavirus outbreak. Since May 2020, property managers from across the UK have approached RM to outsource their COVID-19 risk assessments. As a result, in the past 4 weeks, RM has conducted over 125 COVID-19 Risk Assessments for Offices, Shops, Cafes, Retail Parks, Industrial Estates and Shopping Centres. RM’s new ‘Return to Work’ COVID-19 Risk Assessment Service is the perfect solution for businesses that want to outsource their COVID-19 risk assessment to a third party consultancy. It is based upon the latest UK government guidance covering Office and Contact Centres & Shops and Branches. Key areas covered: The key areas […]

Impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns on the risk from legionella bacteria

Importance of health and safety and wellbeing of the staff, visitors and the public has been a focus and priority of many employers and building owners. Even more now, when we all are being affected by the pandemic. When tackling the spread of the virus it is easy to lose focus on our general day to day obligations. As our work patterns, movements and behaviour change, this can have a significant impact on aspects of the safety of our properties, and this includes the risk associated with legionella bacteria. Health and Safety Law continues to apply, and duty holders still maintain a legal obligation to protect those in and around their properties from exposure to legionella bacteria both now and in the future. Legionella bacteria can grow at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C, where a suitable nutrient is available and where turnover of water is low. As businesses increasingly move […]

Fire Stopping Surveys – Taking Action

Fire stopping is the sealing of gaps, breaches or issues found around fire resistant floors, doors and construction. These elements have been put in place to help slow the spread of fire through a building, and they must be able to resist fire for a reasonable period of time. However, cracks or openings around them might prevent them from doing the very job they’re in place for, which ultimately puts lives at risk. In order to determine whether there are any issues, a Fire Stopping Survey is conducted. This will assess where fire resisting walls have been breached, and highlight where remedial works need to be performed to restrict the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building. The survey will identify problem areas and the surveyor will go through a detailed inspection above suspended ceilings, loft spaces and between floors to ensure fire cannot extend through the building by […]

Taking Fire Safety Seriously

A few weeks ago, Fire Safety Matters reported that more than 7,000 Londoners are to get new fire doors. This is part of a £9,000,000 project to upgrade fire doors in six London boroughs across twelve City of London Corporation-run housing estates. All front, communal and fire escape doors will be replaced in over 2,300 homes, ensuring that there is an enhanced up to 60 minute fire resistance. This enormous project comes down to one simple thing: keeping residents safe. Since the Grenfell Tower incident, there has been a new focus on residents’ safety, and it is the duty of all responsible organisations and people to make sure that all the necessary steps are taken to minimise any risks when it comes to fire. Big Costs One of the more recent cases to hit the news that demonstrates how important fire safety is has been the incident in Palmer’s Green. […]

Quarterly Fire Door Checks to Become Law

Following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the upcoming fire safety bill will state that fire doors in all blocks of flats will need to be checked every three months. The FIA (Fire Industry Association) last week reported upon this proposed big change in the law. Currently there is no specific legislation in place that requires fire doors to be checked, but these sorts of assessments play a huge role in fire safety. Although changes such as the fire door checks have come about following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report, the report in itself only stated that “all fire doors, including their closers, should be routinely checked or inspected by a suitably qualified professional.” However, it seems the government wants to take this more seriously and it will be insisting on checks every three months. The FIA’s article highlighted that “Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has stated that a fire safety bill that […]

Understanding Your Legionella Risk Assessment

There is often a misconception that a Legionella Risk Assessment is just looking for the presence of Legionella; as if it’s a tick boxing exercise to state whether it’s there or not. However, a Risk Assessment of this kind is actually exactly what it states: it assesses not just whether Legionella is present, but what the risks are of the bacteria emerging. It’s about making sure your site is safe and recommending actions to reduce the risk from Legionella bacteria. To give you guidance on what’s involved in a Legionella Risk Assessment and how you should use the report, we’ve answered some key questions: What is a Legionella Risk Assessment? During a Legionella Risk Assessment, we’re not looking for Legionella in the system, the assessment is instead designed to identify potential conditions that would encourage Legionella to grow. Then we recommend steps to eliminate or reduce that risk, making sure […]

Notification for tenants and service providers regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic

The government has stated that based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate regarding the Coronavirus. Whilst the number of cases in the UK still remains low and we must keep this in mind, this rise in the risk highlights the importance of planning ahead. Services to properties must be maintained with as little disruption to everyday business activity as possible, but we must ensure that we are prepared to take action to reduce any risk to tenants and workers alike. Adequate resources need to be in place to minimise the spread should there be an outbreak, and procedures should be planned in and communicated so that all relevant parties are aware of the situation. We believe it is important that discussions take place between […]

What are the different types of Fire Strategy & does a building need one?

In recent years, the fire safety industry has had a massive shake-up. Events such as the Grenfell Tower fire and other large-scale fire disasters has meant that more duty holders are starting to ask the necessary questions when it comes to fire safety. Some property owners have reconsidered their Fire Strategy and many have begun to explore the different types of Fire Strategy services that are available, as they question which type is required for their buildings. A Fire Strategy acts as ‘the bible’ for a building’s fire safety measures and consolidates all building information into one report. Consulting a Fire Strategy usually answers any questions relating to fire safety in a building. Having a Fire Strategy means it’s a lot easier to review fire safety measures and make certain decisions – on safe occupancy levels for example. Having said this, fire strategies often go missing during a building’s sale […]

New Government Measures to Improve Building Safety Standards

Last week the government announced new measures to improve building safety standards. The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, detailed that the new Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive will go “further and faster to ensure residents are safe in their homes.” The new Regulator will give effective oversight of the design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings. A press release from the government stated that “from next month [Mr Jenrick] will start to name building owners where remediation has not started to remove unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding from their buildings.” It also stated that “the government will consult on extending the ban on combustible materials to buildings below 18 metres and will seek views on how risks are assessed within existing buildings to inform future policy.” The new Bill has been driven forward following both the fire at Grenfell Tower and more recent high-rise fires such […]