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.
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. It happened four years ago, but details are coming out now.
Harper Stone Property Ltd was taken to court after a fire broke out within the common stairwell of one of their apartment blocks. The fire spread to the third floor and residents were unable to exit the building via the main stairs. Although no one died, there was a close call as one of the twenty residents had to be rescued by the fire brigade from a window sill.
The property management company has had to pay fines and costs totalling £30,000.
An inspection of the property revealed that there were several breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Firstly, Harper Stone Property Ltd had not assessed what aspects of the premises might pose a threat to the safety of tenants, there were also no emergency lights in the stairwell or common hallways, and the flat entrances had not been fitted with fire doors.
The Negotiator quoted Dan Daly, the London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, who said, “There’s no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when information is so readily available to those with responsibility for safety in buildings to understand what their duties are and ensure they comply with the law.”
If you’re a Responsible Person, do you know what you need to do? Whether you look after residential homes or a commercial building, fire safety is of paramount importance. Harper Stone was lucky that it was just a financial cost to them, it could have been much worse.
If you’d like more information on fire safety and what you need to do for the buildings you look after, please get in touch.