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Spotlight on fire safety

It’s not as well known as its more prominent cousin ‘Gas Safety Week’, but this week is a big one in the safety stakes too – Fire Door Safety Week.

Organised by the British Woodworking Federation, the event is designed to help promote awareness within landlords and tenants as to what they should expect from a safety door, how to spot doors that would protect from fire and smoke and more importantly, how to spot those that wouldn’t. The campaign aims to highlight the dangers on cutting corners when installing this vital safety feature, and how neglecting management of fire safety products can be fatal.

Since the horrifying events at Grenfell tower last year, it is understandable that fire safety within residential buildings, especially flats is at an all time high, however research commissioned by Fire Door Safety Week suggests that many residents are unaware of the options for protection, and how to react safely should the worst happen.

Shockingly, 72% of tenants living in flats said that they would ignore warnings to remain in the property if a fire broke out, with 39% admitting that they had no confidence in their building’s ability to stop the spread of smoke and fire.

Nearly 30% said that they were unaware why the guidance to stay put was in place (suggesting that information about the ability of modern fire doors has not been shared) and a further 61% said they would attempt to tackle the blaze on their own.

Our research reveals tenants’ widespread lack of confidence and knowledge in the current “stay put” or fire safety measures of their building. Seeds of doubt have been sown and tenants no longer feel able to trust the systems in place. They would rather risk their own lives, and the lives of others by trying to get out of a burning building than seek refuge in their flats. We need to restore the general public’s confidence in fire safety policies by rooting out fire doors that are ill-fitted, damaged or poorly maintained and ensuring that all buildings are equipped with fire doors that are fit for purpose. In addition, occupants must be provided with clear guidance about the fire safety plan and fire safety measures in their building so that they can report any concerns about issues such as damaged or wedged open fire doors and get prepared so that, in the event of a fire, they can take appropriate action.

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week

For more information, you can visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk, where you can explore an array of videos and graphics, as well as download a full toolkit to help make sure you are completely clued up on your responsibilities as a landlord.

There’s plenty to remember with regards to maintaining your tenants’ safety. For a full overview of all your responsibilities, you can join the Landlord Safety Summit, which takes place on Tuesday, January 8th at 7pm for FREE here

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