Letting agents and property managers of blocks with fire doors are being urged to take their responsibilities more seriously.
The warning comes in the build up to Fire Door Safety Week, which runs from September 14 to 20.
“The rates of fire deaths and casualties are reducing, but there are still an average of 25 fatalities or injuries from building fires every day. Fire doors are a crucial first line of defence in many of these fires, and yet they remain a significant area of neglect” says Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week.
“Ten years on from a new law being introduced, fire door failure is still a consistent feature of prosecutions. Just this year alone we know of hundreds of thousands of pounds of fines and prison sentences for people who have failed to meet their fire safety responsibilities” says Mansell, who claims that her organisation routinely finds faults in fire doors in private rented accommodation.
Sponsors of the week include the National Landlords Association and the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, employers or those who have control over a premises (known as the ‘responsible person’) are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and act on its findings.
The risk assessment should also identify actions which need to be taken in order to protect the building from fire. It must be kept under constant review and amended if any changes are made to the premises.
However, since the Fire Safety Order was introduced in 2005, there continues to be a steady stream of prosecutions against all types of building owners, landlords and agents, says the Fire Week organisers.