Precision Safety Services are pleased to announce that we have secured a significant Local Authorities Contract to complete Fire Strategies for a host of buildings across the capital and in the Home Counties.
Carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment in a block of Flats should be easy, shouldn’t it? After all, there is clear guidance in Approved Document B (Volume 1) of the Building Regulations, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, Approved Document M, guidance documents from the Local Government Association (withdrawn, and republished by the Home Office), PAS 79, and a host of other documents, some old, and some new like the Fire Act 2021 which will come soon become enforceable.
Some of these apply to all blocks of flats, and some only to new ones, but all of them say any multi-occupied (residential) premises need a Fire Risk Assessment. That includes a house converted to two flats, as well as multi-story blocks, and everything in between.
There are 4 types of Fire Risk Assessment. The most common is a type 1 where only the common areas are inspected, and it is non-destructive. Type 3 also includes the individual dwellings (flats). Types 2 and 4 are destructive, and we rarely carry out destructive risk assessments.
A Fire Risk Assessment is based on the Fire Strategy, and many landlords / owners (Responsible Person) do not even know what one is, let alone if they have one. So, we are here to help.
We at Precision Safety have to know what, and when to apply these regulations and guidance documents, and apply them in a consistent and reasonable manner. We have to give suitable and sufficient advice to keep residents safe even if, despite everyone’s best efforts, a fire did break out.
At the same time, there has to be a balance between what is absolutely required and you must do it; and what is not but still presents a significant risk to those in the building. We will guide you on your Fire Strategy, on assessing the level of risk, and possible solutions to lower or eliminate risk. Not only will you do what is legally required – all that is reasonably practicable to reduce risk, but you can prove that you have done it.
Often, the solutions are easy, and cost little or nothing to achieve like documenting your Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan, and giving it to all residents (for example, let them know whether to get out, or stay put). Others might require more time and effort, like upgrading the flat doors to fire resisting doors which is now the landlord’s responsibility. We discuss with you what you already have, and what you still need to do, and when. And all of this is based on an increasingly rare commodity – common sense.
The new Building Safety Bill puts special emphasis on the 18-meter height rule, and Approved Document B has a trigger height of 11-meters.
But where do you measure from and to? It matters! Knowing which Regulation applies to your building can save many thousands of pounds by, for example, not needing to fit a sprinkler system.
And it does not need to stop there. You are required to “Manage” your building. We at Precision can maintain the fire safety systems of your building. There are fire extinguisher certification checks that need to be completed annually, Emergency Lighting and Fire Alarm systems also need bi-annual certification checks. And if one goes wrong, we can fix or replace it after your agreement. We can even do lightning conductors, if your building has one.
There is so much that needs to be done. Precision help and guide you, providing completed documentation where we can, and drafts which are simple to complete and understand when we can’t. Do you need a checklist? We will provide one. Do you need a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan? We will help you create one. Why should you reinvent the wheel? Let us help.
Derby Landlord fined £50,000 and a further £23,000 in costs, plus two year suspended jail sentence for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Fire Safety within buildings, let and occupied by the general public, have never been under more scrutiny by Local Authority and Fire Service Inspectors than they are today.
The tragic events witnessed at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, and the public backlash towards the government and Fire Services that followed, has given those in charge of UK Fire Standards the support they needed to firmly enforce breaches in Fire Safety.
Rented flats and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) have come under closer and more vigorous inspection to address the safety of those living in such buildings.
Attending officers to any fire, small or large, casualties or not, are now actively seeking prosecution of those offending and failing to comply with current UK Fire Legislation.
Responding to the fire, which started in a flat on the top floor of the converted building, firefighters discovered some fire doors had no self-closers or smoke seals, the kitchen door did not close due to a lack of maintenance and the fire alarm was not working. There was no evidence of a fire risk assessment and fire extinguishers were out of test date.
In addition, they also found that the landlord had failed to provide tenants with any means of escape and the emergency lighting was not in working order.
The owner and landlord of the flats appeared at Derby Crown Court on 5 July to be sentenced for several breaches of fire safety regulations to which he pleaded guilty at Derby Magistrates Court on the 7 June 2021.
A Simple Fire Risk Assessment by a Precision Safety and follow up action to remedy the breaches would have resolved all these issues and for a fraction of the cost of the fines incurred.
Also the tenants and Landlord could sleep soundly knowing that Fire Safety within their building was being addressed.
Had an injury or fatality occurred it is likely that a suspended sentence would have been a longer custodial one.
WHY RUN THESE RISKS?
EMPLOY PRECISION SAFETY SERVICES:
Contact us on 0800 0241124
As businesses start to reopen, we have had numerous calls regarding Fire Alarm faults
There are many areas of safety that are bestowed upon Business from the Health and Safety Executive. One of those is the Fire Regulations and in particular, Fire Detection.
The majority of Fire Alarm Systems installed in commercial premises are serviced every six months.
With 50% of the detectors serviced and battery voltages checked at each visit. On wireless systems, we also analyse signal levels to ensure they comply with the British Standard.
Some Fire Alarms are wireless; typically, they require battery changes every 3-4 years. But Still need to be regularly checked, especially after a period of inactivity.
Hard wired system's also have backup batteries inside the Fire Panel, which again need to be checked to make sure they work when you need them most.
With many Fire Alarms being left fallow during the lockdown, they have effectively been neglected. The regulations are clear about maintaining your Fire Detection system;
Precision will ensure that your system is
legally compliant and above all make sure you and your staff are safe.
We provide you with certification, which is uploaded to our customer portal.
Our team of professional Engineers can fault find, service and maintain your Fire Systems & make sure you are legally compliant. We pride ourselves on being able to work on all makes of Fire System even if they are closed protocol. We do not contract out, this means that you get the same set of Engineers at each visit.
- Are you really ready for opening up
- Are your staff ready ?
- Are you customers safe ?
- do you need refresher training
- are your fire extinguishers in working order ?
What Our Customers Say
Amazing Service ! Highly recommended !
At short notice, PSS went out of their way to get the work done quickly and went above and beyond to get us up and running. Great communications and very helpful. Will absolutely be calling them again. Liam and Tracey especially were lovely to deal with. Thank you.
Reliable and trustworthy
We have been using PSS Ltd at our church for quite a few years now and have found them to be completely reliable, trustworthy, good value and extremely knowledgeable. In an old and ‘complicated’ building like ours, it is very helpful to work with a small team of technicians who know well the intricacies and ‘kwerks’ of the building. It saves us a lot of time and means that we can plan ahead for repairs, replacement parts and larger items of expenditure. Thoroughly recommended in every way!
I was thoroughly impressed with PSS, I wouldn’t consider working with any other H&S consultancy. Peter at pacdesign.co.uk
We had a suspected asbestos situation arise whilst carrying out electrical work at our church.
We needed some quick information about past reports on our buildings.
We called PSS and got immediate help to assist us in determining our next step.
I am very grateful for the quick response and would like to say thank you to Paul.
Covid 19 - Risk Assessment
Amongst many technical services always provided to the highest standards, Precision also support us with the Health and Safety consultancy. We find this an exceptionally valuable service, particularly in these difficult times of the Coronavirus. Recently, our Senior Leadership Team had to undertake a huge task of assessing risks associated with re-opening our school to a wider group of pupils and bringing back to work staff who felt very anxious after a long period of lockdown. The task was very daunting but with Chris Horsfall’s help and expertise we sailed through it. Chris went an extra mile to check our lengthy Risk Assessment document, assisted with the telephone consultations and provided a very comprehensive staff training. Without his help, we would have struggled. Instead, we feel reassured and are taking his recommendations on board. Thank you Chris and thank you Precision – we know that we can always count on your professional advice and help!
Finally stung in to action by media articles and blogs such as our own,Historic Wartime Blitz Measures Return to a Building Near You! article , or Tower Block Economical Fire Safety Solutions
At last the current government are finally, after over three years, seeking to ease the plight of owners and tenants in Tower Blocks above 18 Metres affected by the scandal of flammable cladding.
Since the tragic events witnessed at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 Tower Block Resident Committees and Managing Agents throughout the UK have had to address the safety of those living in unsafe buildings.
Many resorted to employing expensive “waking watch” companies who patrol affected buildings 24 Hours and 365 Days a year.
This was a cheap option when looked at monthly set against the one off cost of an alarm system, but in hindsight massively expensive. There are instances where to date Tower Block Residents have had to pay a combined total of over three million pounds over the three year period.
A cost that could have been reduced tenfold if those in charge had only taken up the option of installing alarms instead.
Recognising that many owners and tenants are stuck paying these ridiculously high charges, the Government have at last acted and introduced a relief fund to address the situation.
- New £30million Waking Watch Relief Fund for fire alarms to reduce costs for leaseholders forced to have a waking watch
- £1 billion Building Safety Fund deadlines extended to ensure more eligible buildings can remove unsafe cladding
- Around 95% of buildings with dangerous ‘Grenfell type’ ACM cladding to have completed remediation, or have workers on site by the end of the year
To date over 2800 building applications have been received from eligible sites, over 1600 from London alone.
Precision Safety Services Ltd specialise in Tower Block Alarm System Design and Installation.
Here is a link to the Government site and the claim forms
Let us assist you towards safety at an ongoing cost you can afford! Get In touch today !
- FIRE ALARM INSTALLATION IN TOWER BLOCKS
- FIRE ALARM , Design and Installation
- FIRE ALARM SERVICING
- FIRE ALARM FAULTS & REPAIRS
BBC releases story about the cost of wardens similar to Historic Wartime Blitz Measures!
This week the BBC released an article highlighting owner concerns over the growing cost of likely renovations to their homes in Tower Blocks in the wake of the tragic events at Grenfell Towers.
A situation we highlighted several weeks ago in a previous blog post
A resident of such a block in Leeds was interviewed and expressed considerable concern regarding how the situation had “wrecked her life”.
She explained how she, and other residents, had to pay £400 per month for “Fire Watchers” a situation that has been the case for over three years.
Also Estate Agent’s are reporting that prices are being driven down by buyers running scared of purchasing a Flat that has ongoing issues, adding to owners woes.
It seems very strange to us that management committees are spending such vast amounts of money on something that might have to be in place for years, yet has no beneficial Fire Safety impact on the building long term; particularly so when an Alarm System is going to be needed anyway and would calm Fire Safety fears?
At Precision Safety Services Ltd have been asked to consider several projects to install Specialist Wireless Fire Alarm Systems to buildings that are currently being “watched” day and night by teams employed specifically to spot a fire and raise the alarm.
These systems are industry recognised and are simple to install, causing very little disruption to the fabric of the building.
The Alarm System would replace the costly “Watching Teams” that are in no way a long term solution and will provide immediate warning throughout a Tower Block whenever a fire starts, even if a property is unoccupied.
Should you wish a quote for your building to have such a system installed please contact us and one of our consultants will be able assist you.
Until then stay vigilant! Stay safe!
Today we take a look at what we look for when doing a Fire Safety Audit.
Just picking on two elements today. Firstly we look at Fire Doors then we look at Fire Alarms.
Fire Doors, what to look for……
Do your doors have the correct smoke/heat seals fitted?
Do they have the correct gap between them?
Are closers fitted? Do they work and are they fire rated?
Does the door form part of a dedicated fire break?
Are the correct viewing panels fitted? If fitted, does the door have the correct glass?
Is the door fire rated to 30 mins or 1 hour? How do you tell if a door is fire rated?
If the door is fire-rated, is it correct for your premises?
Old doors sometimes have Asbestos to give them the fire rating, how do you tell?
Is there a routine check of fire doors? Is it recorded?
Do your doors open in the correct direction?
Are your doors the correct width for the number of people you have on the premises?
Do your doors need automatic holders?
Are your doors linked to the fire system?
Do your doors have thumb turn overrides fitted?
Do the doors lead to a dead end-fire route?
Do you have one?
Do you need one?
Is it monitored? Should it be?
Is it just zone-based? Is it addressable?
Is it just call point based?
Are the backup batteries in date?
Is rotational call point testing being done?
Is it Life 1, 2 or 3 based?
Are there Zone charts?
Is there a fire pack?
Do you have Fire Marshalls and Wardens trained and up to date?
Do you have a PAS79 based Fire Risk Assessment?
Do you know how to isolate a device?
Where do you log faults?
As you can see from the items above, Fire Safety can be a complex process. This is why you need to have a competent person completing it.