Managing properties involves making sure standards are met and procedures are understood by colleagues, visitors and residents.
Use these top 5 tips to guarantee fire safety measures are being followed in property management.
1. Fire Evacuation Procedure
Whilst you may have a comprehensive evacuation procedure in place, it could be rendered useless if residents in the building are unaware of it. If users of the building don’t know what to do in an emergency situation, confusion and panic could follow should a fire occur.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Make sure all residents and users of the building know what the fire evacuation procedure is. Point out the fire exit routes and where to assemble as necessary.
2. Fire Evacuation Drills
To make sure your fire evacuation procedure is robust, drills should be carried out, preferably unannounced. This is the best way to test the plan and make sure the responsible people are aware of their responsibilities in an emergency situation.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Test your fire evacuation procedure with unannounced drills throughout the year, taking into account policies such as ‘stay put’ which may be in place in the property.
3. Joint Responsibility
Property management companies are generally responsible for communal areas, but it is worth remembering that both your company and tenants have a joint responsibility for fire safety in the building. A fire risk assessment in place will identify any risks and be shared by jointly responsible people.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Ensure everyone is aware of their joint responsibilities for fire safety in the building. Has someone been allocated the job of contacting the fire and rescue service? Don’t allow for a situation where everyone thinks someone else has done it.
4. Use of Communal Cupboards
Riser cupboards and plant rooms are generally controlled by the property management company for the building. The fire brigade allows access to these areas, via lock and key to the necessary personnel. There are occasions when tenants acquire keys and use these areas for additional storage. This increases the potential for fire risks if left unchecked.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Regularly check riser cupboards and plant rooms to ensure the areas are kept clear of anything that should not be stored there.
5. Fire Safety Maintenance
The testing and inspection of fire safety equipment is required periodically and records must be kept to show a history of compliance. Weekly testing of the fire alarm system, or the monthly testing of emergency lighting should be carried out by a tenant, caretaker or other suitably trained individual on site. The inspection and maintenance of equipment such as fire extinguishers, dry riser mains and fire alarm systems should be carried out by competent persons, most likely a professional third-party UKAS accredited fire safety services provider.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Churches Fire & Security can prove the competency of our technicians to inspect and maintain your fire safety services.
These are five common points that should be addressed to ensure safety in property management. Fire risk assessments can further highlight areas that require attention.
Contact Churches Fire & Security today to discuss your fire safety responsibilities as a property manager.Get in touch