Last month, a landlord in Reading was handed a huge fine for serious breaches of fire safety regulations. Crescourt Properties were fined £177,000 after pleading guilty to four charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 was introduced in October 2006 and is designed to provide a minimum fire safety standard in all non-domestic premises, including HMOs. The order puts a legal obligation on the “Responsible Person” to carry out risk assessments to identify, manage and reduce the risk of fire, and take suitable safety precautions including:
- A means of fire detection and warning
- Measures to reduce the risk of fire occurring
- Measures to reduce the spread of any fire through the premises
- Measures in relation to the means of escape
- Measures to ensure the means of escape can be safely used at all times
- Firefighting measures
- Action to be taken in the event of fire; and
- Mitigating the effects of fire
Upon a routine inspection of one of Cresourt Properties HMOs, fire safety officers found a number of serious issues including faulty smoke alarms, a lack of fire doors and an external escape route in a poor state of repair all leading to a hefty fine of over £170k.
The hope is that this significant fine will send a clear message to property owners that they have a duty to keep tenants safe, and that if they put anyone at risk by breaking the law, they will be prosecuted.
Landlords are legally obliged to provide a suitable fire detection solution for HMOs. However, in the event that a system needs repairing, upgrading or extending it is often a task that is put to the bottom of the list of priorities. This may be down to cost, time or the amount of effort that is required. Regardless of this, it is of the utmost importance that measures are taken to ensure the safety of tenants and avoid sizable fines.
Hybrid fire detection can provide a fast and reliable means of extending, upgrading or replacing faulty devices on an existing fire safety solution with minimal effort. A hybrid fire detection solution allows hardwired and wireless devices to work together to provide a complete system. This means that if additional or replacement devices such as manual call points, detectors or sounders are needed to meet requirements, wireless devices can be deployed quickly to save time, avoid disruptive and expensive cable runs and reach compliance in a quick and cost-effective manner.
Wi-Fyre is Eurofyre’s hybrid detection solution. Wi-Fyre allows wireless and hardwired devices to coexist seamlessly to form part of a new or existing fire detection solution and has six, user-selectable modes of operation for increased compatibility:
- ProFyre 2-Wire addressable
- ProFyre addressable
- Addressable (collective)
How Wi-Fyre Works
Wi-Fyre transponders are installed into the fire alarm’s wiring using a compatible interface module. Each transponder can then communicate with up to thirty wireless field devices, including manual call points, sounders, detectors and input/output devices.
A Wi-Fyre Survey Head is also available and must be used to make sure the signal between the devices to be installed and their corresponding transponder is strong enough for the system to operate efficiently.