We had our head in our hands after a fire risk assessment
Recently a client of ours asked for a favour. Now as we all know, favour means they want us to do some work for free and whilst we don't make a habit of this we do lots with this client and were happy to help out.
They were looking to take over a block of apartments, but before this could happen they had started to do their due diligence. Block management is a big responsibility with lots of legislation that can trip you up, so it is a very sensible strategy to leave no stone unturned.
Their biggest worry was the fire safety aspects of the block, as they managed other blocks there were a few things not sitting right with them but they wanted a professional opinion before they could even consider taking over the responsibility of the building and the apartments within it.
The "professional" opinion
What was scary when we had a chat was the seemingly odd comment from a visiting fire officer. Allegedly he had told the current building manager that despite fire safety breeches "they would almost certainly never be back", this freebie was already proving to be very interesting!
With such a statement from a professional, you could forgive many similar clients for just thinking that fire safety regulations are not that important and we hope that these people never have to face the worst and something serious happening on their watch! These precautions will hopefully never be tested however if they are breeches are the weapon of choice for the same fire officers when it goes to court. We would very much doubt if a fire happened, and a fatality occurred that they would have the attitude shown by this particular fire officer.
We did have a walk around with our client and in our quick ten-minute look spotted several items that we would fail the building on, from simple signage (a very cheap fix) to significant fireproofing issues that would have a significant cost implication to put right, but more importantly than all that, in our opinion (and given our combined experience of decades in the industry) the place was just not safe to house anyone.
Make sure you are covered, get a fire risk assessment done properly
If you are involved with or have an interest in a building block then a lot of what we do and advise on is to reduce your exposure to the penalties and fines for non-compliance. Getting a schedule of cover that may include a maintenance program is important and choosing a company to help you ensure the block is safe and has the correct cover and paperwork is essential.
If you do want to talk to us about any concerns you have on your own building or block we are always available to advise, give us a call today.