How often should a Fire Risk Assessment be upgraded?

How often should a Fire Risk Assessment be upgraded?

10:43 AM, 31st January 2022, About 4 months ago 7

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Hi everyone, I own a property in a Victorian building with four other owners.

We had a fire risk assessment carried out in 2013, and I am wondering if there is a legal requirement to have this upgraded or reassessed, assuming the original recommendations were implemented at the time?

Many thanks

Lusso

Editor’s Note: From the NRLA >> https://www.nrla.org.uk/news/the-complete-fire-safety-guide-for-landlords

“Periodical fire risk assessments are a legal requirement for many rental properties and best practice in all. They identify possible causes of fires, highlighting potential hazards and the precautions the landlord should take to reduce the likelihood of a fire. It is a good idea to review the risk assessment every two years and update it every four years. For older buildings or those over three storeys, the risk assessment should be reviewed annually and updated every three years.

There is no mandatory method of fire risk assessment, but it’s worth noting that most fire and rescue services offer free home visits as part of their ‘Safe and Well’ initiative to identify potential fire risks within the home. This includes knowing what to do in order to reduce or prevent the risk of fire, ensuring working smoke alarms are present and putting together an escape plan in case a fire does break out.”

If you own a flat it is your responsibility to carry out all the necessary checks for the flat itself. You will have to ensure that someone is responsible for the overall fire safety in your block of flats. That may be the managing agent, but you still need to specifically ask what precautions they’re taking and what checks they’re making.

 



Comments

by Gunga Din

11:32 AM, 31st January 2022, About 4 months ago

The Editor's Note sums it up. The take-away is that you need to show you've done one/some if the house ever burns down. There are templates out there, I think I got mine from the NLA/NRLA site.
If nothing has changed, and risk-wise, it never has, I just copy the details into the new line on the form.

by DSR

14:49 PM, 31st January 2022, About 4 months ago

I had the same dilemma a few months back. I called in a Fire Risk assessor in the end. While I understand this was not completely LEGALLY necessary (reading the above Editors Notes) as there were no changes to the building or anything I though it was just best.
Now I am in the position where the fervent RA states a 60 min fire door is necessary in one location whereas the professional fire door fitting company suggests a 30 is all that is needed. Who is right?? In the end I have made MY OWN decision based on 'reasonableness V Risk' and conflicting advice by two sets of processionals who are adhering to the same legislation, that a 30 will be put in place and the reasons why.
In the end like everything else - if you have followed the law to the latter (in this case actually carrying out a RA, (regardless of who did it), and you are confident that all perceived risks are mitigated as far as possible, as far as I am concerned you have ticked the legal box which is all you are legally obliged to do.
Or am I alone on this?

by landlord andrew

18:34 PM, 31st January 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 31/01/2022 - 14:49What the fire risk assessor says far outweighs what a company selling doors says . The fire risk assessor is liable if he gets it wrong , the door company is not. If there was a fire a court would not look kindly on you ignoring professional advise and it might give your insurance Company an excuse to try to not pay a claim .
Did the fire risk assessor give a good reason why this 60min door was needed ? It might have been to mitigate another problem ? Could you solve this other problem instead ?
If you want to avoid cost of a new door you could paint with fire retardant paint that "claims" to give 30 minute fire resistance. These paints ( or varnish ) are normally used in listed properties where you want to retain old doors.

by Ian Narbeth

11:15 AM, 1st February 2022, About 4 months ago

Hi Lusso
Are you or any of the other owners letting out their property? If so it is more important that the FRA is done than if you are an owner occupier. Is the freehold owned by a company controlled by the owners or by a third party? An independent third party owner should seriously consider doing one and charging the cost through the service charge.

There is no hard and fast rule about doing the FRA every so many years but given that it is 9 years since the last one and given the inexpensive cost of doing one, I would say you ought to get one done soon. You may have to spend money if the FRA identifies problems but it is important you know about those problems.

by Mervin SX

7:41 AM, 5th February 2022, About 4 months ago

The Leasehold advisory service has some guidance on this - https://www.lease-advice.org/faq/often-must-fire-risk-assessment-carried/

Hope this helps.

by Jim S

13:39 PM, 5th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 31/01/2022 - 14:49
Refer to the government guidance on fire safety as shown in the LACORS fire safety guide. https://www.cieh.org/media/1244/guidance-on-fire-safety-provisions-for-certain-types-of-existing-housing.pdf

by DSR

13:13 PM, 8th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jim S at 05/02/2022 - 13:39
Thanks - I have looked at this but cant find any details with specific reference to Grade 2 listed properties. I am not in any way trying to deviate from not adhering to any standard, but when the implication of having a 60min fire door and frame mean that the access from the ground floor flat will be obstructed as a direct result, then surely it cant be 'reasonable' to carry out such work? The ground floor flat front door is less than 5 metres from the main block exit. No other tenant above has to pass this area to exit either - the main door is at the bottom of the stairs. The tenant in the ground floor flat is a young girl and there is access from her lounge directly into a courtyard at the back.
A wider 60 min door and frame are also not able to be fitted in place - there is no space behind. The permenantly locked door leads straight into an empty basement. The stairs fall immediately after opening the door as they are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. There is simply not enough wall on opened side of the door to fix a thicker frame.
It would not be viable to alter this area. Surely 'reasonableness' here is to mitigate the risk as best as possible using the guidance given to the capability of what the listed property actually allows?


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