Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) in Common Closes

Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) in Common Closes

Read our latest News

How have you incorporated Wellbeing into your H&S system?

Asbestos Legislative Changes

How to prioritise Health & Safety Training

Fire safety legislation in Scotland places a clear duty on employers to carry out Fire Safety Risk Assessments (FRA’s) to ensure the safety of employees/occupants in workplaces and other ‘relevant premises’ (including ‘Houses of Multiple Occupancy’ (HMO’s) and some other specialised domestic accommodation). Most ‘normal’ domestic premises and their common areas are excluded from this specific duty.

The legislation does, however, place a specific responsibility on landlords to maintain any measures provided in the common areas of all domestic premises for the protection of fire-fighters which requires a reasonable level of inspection and assessment to be carried out specifically of fire-fighting facilities and equipment, if not a more comprehensive FRAs.

Further, for high-rise domestic blocks the Scottish Government having published specific guidance which states that “It is a strong recommendation that those organisations responsible for the management of high-rise blocks, carry out an assessment of fire risk in the building, as part of their corporate responsibility”.

For other domestic properties that are not high-rise blocks, there is an argument that FRAs are required to assist landlords in complying with the full range of the fire-related responsibilities. For example, landlords have general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and the Occupier’s Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 to ensure premises are fit for purpose and do not present a significant risk to occupiers (e.g. employees, tenants, visitors, contractors, etc.) In the event of a fire which is subsequently shown to have resulted (or spread) from any reasonably preventable causes that may have been identified through proper inspection/risk assessing/maintenance, then it is quite foreseeable that the landlord could be held liable.

Finally, current political and public opinion in the aftermath of recent-historic fire disasters, such as Grenfell and Lakanal House, are clearly in favour of all reasonable steps being taken by those in control of domestic premises to ensure compliance with fire safety and building standards and to deliver a high level of protection for building occupants.

Taking all of the above into account it is quite clear that a level of assessment and inspection is required and implementing an FRA strategy (with FRAs carried out by qualified assessors) is strongly recommended to ensure compliance with the wide range of legal responsibilities landlords have to comply with.

If you would like any further advice on FRAs, other fire safety matters or would like to arrange for us to carry out FRAs in any of your housing stock or other properties you are responsible for, please contact us on 0141 427 5171 or email