Fire Risk assessments should be performed forensically

Fire Risk assessments should be performed forensically

16:27 PM, 1st July 2021, About 3 months ago 1

Text Size

This is just one of many examples of the risks if a Fire Risk Assessment is not performed forensically. Many landlords consider themselves competent to do their own Fire Risk Assessments. 99% of landlords are not competent because they do not have the in-depth knowledge nor experience of what is an extremely complex subject. Nor indeed are the majority of council officers who give bad advice and then prosecute landlords with fines in the multiple £10,000s for what they consider to be inadequate fire precautions against a tick-list.

In this case, at a hearing at Southampton Crown Court last month, a fire risk assessor was at fault.  The director of UK Fire Consulting Ltd, Charles Morgan, pleaded guilty to providing a fire risk assessment not suitable for a fully-occupied block of flats.

Morgan was fined £2,750, ordered to pay costs of £19,952 and given a three-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. UK Fire Consulting Ltd was fined £20,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £19,952 for the same offence.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service fire safety inspector discovered electrical wiring penetrating the compartment walls and there was no fire stopping added to holes in the walls, meaning smoke or fire could travel into the communal escape routes to other parts of the building.

His Honour, Judge Burrell QC said: “The job of a fire risk assessor is a highly responsible one. Lives are in their hands and their judgement is crucial. It is not a job to be taken lightly. It is important to hold risk assessors to account, and these are serious breaches. I find it odd that there exists no regulatory framework in regard to fire risk assessors.”

Denfords Property Management had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to comply with an enforcement notice to provide a suitable fire risk assessment. It was fined £10,000 with £6,000 costs. The individual manager specifically responsible for the premises was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,800 costs.

The deputy chief fire officer, Steve Apter, said: “Fire risk assessments underpin the whole process of building fire safety. Mr Morgan failed to inspect and identify fire safety deficiencies within the building and failed to note a compromised alarm and evacuation strategy for the residents.

‘This shortfall meant that those responsible for implementing fire safety measures were unable to fulfil their legal obligations and placed occupants at risk of death or serious injury had a fire occurred.”

Based on an original article here >> https://www.ioshmagazine.com/2021/06/29/suspended-sentence-guilty-fire-risk-assessor-0



Comments

by blair

20:28 PM, 2nd July 2021, About 3 months ago

Frankly I don't agree. The Judge making that statement is in cockoo land ,
I worry if any non invasive inspection would pick up that there was no fire stops/smoke sealant around the holes. Surely the wires were buried in the wall behind plasterboard or plaster.
Further smoke getting into the escape route is bad but there should be a way of releasing it. either a landing window or a roof vent for example.its inevitable some smoke will enter the escape route especially if escape route doors don't close properly
The article doesn't mention if there was a loss of life or if that could of happened.
I say the main thing is to review just how easy /sensible/logical and speedily the protected escape route is.
There has in recent years been two serious fires in large Council flats ( with loss of life). I have always wondered just what those Risk Assessments looked like. I believe even Council owned properties have to have a assessment not just private landlords


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER