Empty properties and fire safety

Are you the owner of a property that is currently empty? If the answer is yes, are you aware that you remain responsible for the fire safety in that empty building? You remain responsible until the building is occupied once again.

As owners of vacant property, loss of rent and the responsibility to carry out maintenance can leave landlords feeling frustrated. But it’s also annoying to other businesses in the neighbourhood and can create security issues.

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Managing risk is attractive to future owners

It is very interesting for the new owner / tenant if you can show you are fully compatible on all aspects of fire safety in empty buildings. All health and safety issues should also be taken care of.

Arson, criminal damage and theft is more common in vacant buildings than when they occupied. And you have a ‘duty of care’ to anyone entering the building – invited or not. Legal responsibility rests with the property owner should someone suffer an injury.

What you need to know about fire safety in an empty building

It is required to regularly keep up maintenance and legal duties regarding fire protection in the property, even when empty. This includes service and repair work where the equipment becomes damaged.

Here is a reminder of the fire protection system that you must adhere to while  building is empty.

A Fire Risk Assessment

Despite being empty, you must implement the FRA will highlight all of the potential dangers in the building. The objective of the FRA is to reduce or eradicate these risks, if possible. An FRA can be a simple task if the building already adheres to the latest building regulations; should it not, then things become much more difficult and expensive to sort out. For Fire Safety Training Bristol, visit a site like https://www.bristolfire.co.uk/fire-training-and-risk-assessment/

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Fire Alarm System

A fully functional fire alarm system is important. It provides an early warning sign that there is a problem in your building.

A burning building a pose two major problems.

This will require money to rebuild

There will be no opportunity to sell or rent in the near future

Thus, investment in compliance is the best chance to protect your income. Also think about third-party monitoring being installed on your system. This acts as a further protection and ensure quick responses and experience for the problem.

Emergency lights

When a fire breaks out, the electricity supply to the building is always compromised. The loss of power to the lighting circuit makes safe escape of the building very difficult. It also inhibits the work of the emergency services to access and manoeuvre around the building.

Installation and maintenance (according to the British Standards) of the emergency lighting has two main benefits:

This increases the chances of your building being saved when on fire

This is a clear signal to potential viewers that you understand your obligations and care about the property. It will set you apart from those who do not.

Wet & Dry Risers

In an empty building, it is not always practical to maintain this equipment. If you are in this situation, you will have to drain the system and isolate any water supply.

However, in some cases, you will be able to maintain it. If so, you should keep life-saving equipment and property to protect this right. In the UK, there is a legal requirement and a British Standard. They will protect your assets while a property is empty.


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