Second fire risk assessment (FRA) on block of 8 flats in Wembley

I was asked to make a follow-up FRA in mid-January 2015 after considerable upgrading work to ceilings and doors had been completed following the writer’s first FRA in February 2011. and following a recommendation by the fire authority that a) the building should adopt a stay in place strategy and b) the recommendation for the installation of a BS 5839 fire detection and alarm system should be reconsidered owing to the difficulties of managing the response to an actuation of the system if the Responsible Person or suitably trained other person was not on site at the time of the emergency. These suggestions seemed reasonable and logical now that the compartmentation had been greatly improved.

It was also noted that, since the first FRA had been made, the LGG Fire Safety Guide had been published in July 2011. This deals with purpose-built blocks of flats and specifically recommends against the dependence on a fire alarm system if the building does not at all times have a suitably knowledgeable person on site to act upon actuation and is competent to reset the system when the emergency is over.

All the passive fire precautions had been satisfactorily carried out, mainly ensuring the compartmentation of each flat by installing an under-drawn fire resisting ceiling and installing new FD30S fire resisting and self closing flat entrance doors, This was a difficult job as the flats were occupied at all times and it was not always convenient to undertake the work, and because of financial constraints. This represents a milestone in the safety measures against fire for the building and its occupants, and it is because of the considerable efforts, technical and diplomatic, of Mr Alvey, the Responsible Person, that this has been achieved.

Later I was informed that a flat tenant had arranged for the electricity supplier to install a pay-as-you-go meter in the cupboard under the common parts stair and I wrote to the Responsible Person agreeing that this was against good practice and the meter should be immediately relocated but not placed next to the final exit in the common parts.

Client; company secretary.