High-Rise Fire Safety: 3 Tips for Landlords
Being the landlord of a high-rise building poses different challenges and more to think about when it comes to fire safety. A fire is unpredictable at the best of times; adding to that a longer escape route and myriad ways for it to spread plus potentially longer detection times means that high-rise fire safety carries its own unique tasks to consider.
Since the Grenfell tragedy, a lot of attention has been brought to the subject and reform is happening, if slowly – with that in mind, have a read of our 3 top tips for managing your property safely and doing your best by your tenants.
Prevention is the best method
High-rise fire safety involves thinking about the fact that an incident could occur in a location which firefighters can’t get to, so consider investing in sprinklers or another automatic fire suppression system (AFSS) – it’s a cost now which could save you money in the long run. Other methods of prevention include having working smoke detectors and fire alarms on every level (which you should be having inspected regularly – make no assumptions about whether they’re functioning properly or not!) and installing passive fire protection equipment throughout the building to stop a fire in its tracks as best possible.
Education is as important as equipment
As the landlord of a high-rise, your responsibilities lie within only the common parts of the building. With that being said, no matter where a fire breaks out, it can be as devastating – so educate your tenants and/or employees about high-rise fire safety within their own homes or spaces. Explain what they should be doing to stay safe and use signage to demonstrate proper practices. Ultimately, it’s up to you to do your bit in helping them do theirs, minimising risks and hazards along the way.
The power of an evacuation plan
Finally, make sure you put in place a strong fire exit strategy, and reiterate it regularly with the building’s inhabitants. High-rise fire safety is a team effort; everyone has their part to play. Go over general fire safety tips, like placing your hand on a door to check if there is heat from the other side before entering, closing all doors behind you when evacuating, and not using the lift during an emergency. These things seem simple but, in moments of panic or worry, people can forget – so take the time to reiterate the evacuation plan and note that it may differ from floor to floor.
We’re currently undertaking a challenging project for a client in South London assessing and then hopefully implementing much of the above; keeping people safe and keeping landlords compliant is what we do best. To learn more about high-rise fire safety services from the expert team here at Excel, get in touch.