‘Clear and impartial’ fire safety guide from RICS
Fire safety has been at the top of the property agenda since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, with the emphasis very much on high rise blocks. But awareness of the precautions to take and what to do in the event of a fire is knowledge that’s vital for all landlords, tenants and owner-occupiers, whatever type of building they own or live in.
To help explain all the fire safety obligations and responsibilities involved in owning or occupying residential property, the RICS has produced a new, easy-to-follow guide that covers houses, apartments, flats and maisonettes. The 'clear and impartial' guide is aimed at both landlords and the general public. It has been written by a team of experts with daily experience of fire safety design and regulation and aims to help property owners and tenants fully understand the type of fire risks they may face. The guide also lists ways to minimise and manage fire safety measures.
RICS highlights the responsibilities of both occupiers and landlords. It's guidance contains specific advice for owner-occupied properties on fire detection, extinguishing and accessibility and special needs assistance. And for rented or shared accommodation, landlord obligations with appliance, furniture and alarm compliance are included, to identify exactly where responsibility lies in these properties. The new publication also contains guidance for multi-occupancy buildings with a 'stay-put' policy – which will vary depending on the building.
If a fire does break out in your home, it is vital to act quickly. One of the most fundamental fire precautions to take is to plan and memorise escape routes no matter where you are. The RICS offers tips and guidance on what to do and also provides safety pointers for smokers to follow, including e-cigarette and vaping advice. There are also a range of safety measures included to help prevent fires caused by candles, electricity, circuit overloads and furniture.
Our advice chimes exactly with the RICS guidance: both landlords and occupants should familiarise themselves with the relevant regulations and know where the responsibility lies when it comes to fire safety. That knowledge could save a life.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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