Summary of key fire safety measures required in tower blocks
Here are the 7 main fire safety measures we undertake when we manage your tower blocks and purpose-built flats.
- Fire Risk Assessment – your tower block should have a valid Fire Risk Assessment, reviewed within the last 12 months, and any recommendations should have been carried out.
- Communication of policies and procedures – the person responsible for fire safety in the tower block (the ‘Responsible Person’) should communicate fire safety policies and procedures to the residents, preferably annually. They should also make sure these are communicated via ‘Fire Action Notices’ in the common areas of the building.
- Have the correct compartmentalisation – your tower block should be sub-divided into ‘compartments’ – e.g. rooms and corridors – to prevent the rapid spread of fire and allow for escape, in accordance with current building regulations.
- Defined escape routes – means of escape, such as corridors and stairwells, should be kept free from flammable materials like cardboard boxes, and sources of ignition, like gas canisters.
- Suitable fire doors – flat front doors should be fire doors of a suitable standard. Fire doors in common areas, such as corridors, must also be of the right standard, and kept closed at all times. They should be clearly labelled with ‘Fire door, keep shut’ signs.
- Smoke detection – all flats should be fitted with domestic smoke detectors, at least in the escape route – i.e. the corridor leading to the front door – and ideally in every room.
- Maintain dry risers if you have them – tower blocks over a certain height are fitted with ‘dry risers’. These are empty pipes that the fire brigade uses to pump water to multiple levels in the event of the fire, and must be serviced regularly.
ARMA general guide to fire safety in blocks of flats can be downloaded here.