Residential Fire Risk Assessments
The Fire Safety Act 2021 has been brought in in response to the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and amends the Fire Safety Order 2005. The Act only applies in England and Wales. Although parts of the Act do not come into force immediately (but over the coming months), it is best practice for these changes to be adopted as soon as possible.
The Act clarifies that for any building containing two or more sets of domestic premises, the
- building’s structure;
- external walls (including doors or windows in those walls and anything attached to the exterior of those wall (including cladding and balconies); and
- any common parts/shared areas (including flat entrance doors that open into common parts)
must be specifically included in the fire risk assessment.
A new Residential Property Fire Risk AssessmentForm template and HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) Fire Risk Assessment Form template are now available to assist responsible persons in carrying out the assessment.
The Duty Holder or ‘responsible person’, normally the freeholder/landlord, letting agent or managing agent, should review their fire risk assessments to ensure that they cover the structure, external façade and balconies as well as individual entrance doors, and implement any changes where necessary as soon as possible.
The Duty Holder can still carry out the fire risk assessment themselves, however, it is recommended that a competent person/professional is instructed to carry out a fire risk assessment.
If you do want to perform the fire risk assessment yourself, you should only do so if you have sufficient knowledge of fire safety. For further information on carrying out a fire risk assessment yourself you can review the government’s guidance on performing a risk assessment which can be found here .
It is best practice for a fire risk assessment to be carried out annually and before a new tenant takes up occupation.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.