Fire Risk Assessments

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What is a fire risk assessment?

You should always look to have a fire risk assessment in respect of your property every 5 years. When managing a property that you are controlling the fire risks. You have to protect against risks of fire. Firstly, identify the risks. Secondly, this is where the risk assessment comes in. There is a legal requirement for non-domestic fire risk assessments. I.e. commercial property you will need to have a fire risk assessment. Please see attached for more information – https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments

 

What is the law?

The law comes under the regulatory reform (fire safety) Order 2005. This came into force in October 2006. It replaced more than seventy pieces of different regulation on fire risk. It applies to all non-domestic premises. Including the common parts of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation.

 

What does the Act say?

The Act lays out that a responsible person must ensure that a fire risk assessment has been undertaken. It must be by a competent person. It must be implemented. A fire risk management plan must be maintained.

A generic risk assessment must be undertaken. You may employ a fire risk safety specialist. However, you need to have qualifications to ensure this is done correctly. Ensure that the assessments have been undertaken. You are responsible for an up-to-date fire management plan. You must make sure this plan is implemented. This must be done every 5 years.

It states that either an employer, or a person who has control of the premises is responsible. This also relates to business or trade or the owner of the property.

There are various Government Departments that deal with this.

These are.

  1. The local Government Regulation
  2. The Department of Communities and local Government Guides
  3. The local Government Association and the Health and Safety Executive.

The Health and Safety Executives state that there are various problems as follows: –

General Fire Safety Hazards

Fires are normally started by three things, a source of ignition, a source of fuel and oxygen.

Sources of Ignition can be.

  1. Heaters
  2. Lighting
  3. Naked flames
  4. Electrical equipment
  5. Smoker’s materials
  6. Electrical installation
  7. Anything that can cause heat or cause sparks.

There are also other items such as:

  1. Wood
  2. Paper
  3. Plastic
  4. Rubber
  5. Foam
  6. Loose packaging
  7. Waste
  8. Rubbish
  9. Furniture

These can all be combustible.

 

What do the Health and Safety Executives say I must do?

They need you to carry out the following:-

  1. A fire risk assessment
  2. Keep sources of ignition and flammable substances apart
  3. Avoid accidental fires.
  4. Ensure good housekeeping.
  5. Avoid build up of rubbish that can burn.
  6. Consider how to detect fires, potentially install smoke alarms, and fire alarms.
  7. Have the correct firefighting equipment for putting out a fire quickly.
  8. Keep fire exits and escape routes clearly marked and unobstructed.
  9. Ensure your workers receive proper training on procedures.
  10. Review this on a regular basis and at least every five years.

Dangerous substances can cause fire and explosion. You must ensure there are none of these items. This includes any form of storage, vapours, and dusts.

 

What are the key points to remember from the Health and Safety Executive? 

They state that you need to look at the following:-

  1. a) Think about the risk of fire and exposure from substances you use or create
  2. b) You supply safety details on any form of sheet or anything that is flammable
  3. c) Make sure that there is nothing flammable stored at the property
  4. d) Keep sources of ignition and substances that burn apart
  5. e) Get rid of any flammable or explosive substances
  6. f) Renew your fire risk regularly and at least every five years

If you manage your own building you need to ensure that you carry out a fire risk assessment. You are in control. It is important that these works are carried out.

You need to have a qualified person to do the fire risk assessment. They will attend the premises and check the common area. They will then compile a report. This report will have recommendations that need to be followed through.

 

What do they take into account in the report?

They take the following into account: –

  1. The property
    2. Occupants
    3. Occupants at risk
    4. Fire loss
    5. Relevant information
    6. Relevant fire safety and station of method
    7. Electrical sources of ignition
    8. Smoking
    9. Arson
    10. Portable heaters and heating installations
    11. Lightning conduction
    12. Housekeeping
    13. Hazards introduced by outside contractors and building
    14. Other fire hazards
    15. Means of escape from fire
    16. Measures to limit fire spread and development
    17. Emergency lighting
    18. Signs and notices
    19. Fire alarms
    20. Extinguishing
    21. Management procedures and arrangements
    22. Records
    23. Fire fighter safety and access
    24. Fire risk assessment matrix

They will then have an action plan together with photographs.

The Report.

The report will lay out the general information stating exactly what type of property. How it was built. The approximate square footage of the building. It will state how many people live in the property. It will lay out the legislation that fire risk comes under. This includes the HMG fire safety sleeping and accommodation guide 2006. It also includes the LACORs housing fire safety 2008.

It will lay out the electrical hazards and whether there is any work that is required on these. Layout where there are any issues in respect of arson. Portable heating installations. The rest of the report will deal with the main management of the building. The signs together with any form of lighting and fire alarm system. This report includes means of fire escape at the property. Any recommendations that may also need improving.

These must be carried out within a specific period. They are normally done by way of a fire risk assessment matrix. This is laid out as slight harm, moderate harm, and extreme harm. There are low, medium, and high risks. These need to be considered. They will give an action and time scale for these works to be carried out.

They often include recommendations as follows: –

  1. Any boiler and electrical intake consumer units. Distribution on escape routes normally enclosed in a 30-minute fire resistant material. These include intumescent and cold smoke seals to any opening.
  2. An EICR report which (please see our previous article) has to be carried out every five years.
  3. Smoke free legislation signs up in relation to the property
  4. Arson which normally relates to an anti-arson letterbox etc.
  5. Fire doors. There are various fire doors in relation to properties. Most are required to be a minimum FD30. This is which is 30 minutes that they can burn without being destroyed. These include cold smoke seals and intumescent strips. They are at the top and edges of the door to prevent the passage of smoke and fire. These all come under a British Standard BS8214:2008 and hinges under BSEN1935:2002: minimum grade CFD30
  6. Compartmentation. This includes any protecting of pipes or cables and services. This would be through floors and is at least 30-minute fire resistant.
  7. Fire alarm system. There are various fire alarm systems. They may recommend different ones for different types of property. But normally this is a category LD2 grade D automatic smoke detection. They would be in the common area. They include integral sounders and heat detectors in each flat in the ceiling.
  8. Fire extinguishers. These may also be required
  9. Fire safety arrangements. This is the detail of what needs to be done by the tenants. This needs to be kept in the building.

The above is only a guide of what may be required as each individual property is different. It is something you need to check.

There is also a guide form LACORs that come under Housing and Fire Safety and we have detailed this out under a separate article

You must be aware of what your legal requirements are. Recent events have taken place where these may change. If you do not have a fire risk assessment you should have one carried out. Any recommendations should be done within the time limit. They differ from property to property. So, it is important that you use a professional to do this.

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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