Should Landlords Be Taking Fire Safety More Seriously?

Despite the horrible scenes at Grenfell Tower many tenants have stated that their landlords had not discussed fire safety with them. 

A new report carried out by the British Woodworking Federation shows how unsafe tenants feel in their properties, with 90% of social landlords staying silent on fire safety. Research highlighted that 40% of renters are not basically trained in fire safety, saying there is no clear fire escape route in or out of their building. Moreover, a further 39% admitted that they had seen fire doors propped open breaking fire regulations and putting human lives at risk. 

The majority of tenants revealed to the British Woodworking Federation that they do not feel prepared in the event of a fire. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower Block fire 24% of adults revealed that they felt worried living in a rented apartment and that it had made them realise the importance of fire safety in rented accommodation.

Hannah Mansell, Technical Manager, British Woodworking Federation , Chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust stated.

“This new research shows that social housing landlords and building owners still have a long way to go to meet their fire safety responsibilities. It is astounding to learn that in the last three months so little has been done to address the concerns of tenants and residents.”

“Many people do not realise that the real job of a fire door is to hold back fire, smoke and toxic gases, delaying the spread around a building and keeping the vital means of escape route clear. They only work properly if they are specified, manufactured, installed and maintained correctly, and of course, closed when a fire breaks out. This is especially important in high rise buildings, houses of multiple occupancy and other types of shared sleeping accommodation.”

“Checking fire doors should be part of a regular fire risk assessment. This should examine all aspects of fire safety management, including active and passive fire protection measures, signage, means of escape and the specific fire plan procedures.” 

“There needs to be crystal clarity about the Responsible Person and a total transformation of attitude towards fire safety of tenants in rented accommodation.” 

It is important for both tenants and landlords to make sure they are up to date with the recent fire safety training and keep with in fire safety regulations in buildings.

Top Tips if you are a tenant
– Contact your Landlord in you have any concerns
– As a next step call your local authority or local fire and rescue service for help
– Contact the Department for Communities and Local Government building safety team by emailing:
– Make sure you are adhering to all fire safety regulations
– Make sure you are well equipped in knowledge of basic fire safety

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