9 May 2011 by Sonal Ghelani

Fire safety

As mentioned in my previous blog, fire safety is an extremely important issue and is also governed by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO).

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) introduced duties in relation to fire safety in the common areas of HMO’s, flats, maisonettes and sheltered accommodation but not shared houses, individual flats, maisonettes or residential units. It places duties on housing providers to risk-assess fire safety in their properties and ensure adequate precautions are taken to reduce that risk and manage it for safety. The assessment should be for the common areas and take into consideration the entire premises.

The duty is placed on the responsible person which means “the person who has control of the premises in connection with the carrying on of a trade, business or other undertaking”. This will usually be the landlord, but in the case of an absentee landlord where the “carrying on of the business” is undertaken by a managing agent it may be the managing agent. The responsible person has a duty to:

  1. Carry out a fire risk assessment to identify the general fire precautions and other measures needed to comply with the FSO;
  2. Take action to minimise the risk of fire in the common parts;
  3. Take general fire precautions to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of the people on the premises and in the immediate vicinity;
  4. Place a suitable system of maintenance and appoint competent persons to implement any procedures that have been adopted.

The aims of the fire risk assessment are:

  1. To identify the fire hazards;
  2. Reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm;
  3. To establish what fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of people in the premises in the event of a fire.

It is therefore important to carry out a fire risk assessment and I will explain the enforcement procedures and consequences of non compliance with the FSO in my next blog.

If you have any further questions you should contact your local fire authority or the Local Housing Authority.

5 May 2011 by Lynne Burdon

Our Client Survey

Our end of March client survey is now completed and I am pleased that we have a small improvement in the number of responses where we have exceeded expectations.

6 May 2011 by Vincent Billings

Software functionality – can it be protected?

Copyright in computer programs protects the skill and labour of the programmer/designer only in so far as their work is a written work e.g. source or object code.

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