Fire and your legal liability

Many people are unaware of the legal liabilities associated with fire safety and prevention…

It’s often only after a fire that people ask questions surrounding what fire protection and prevention measures were put in place. Be in the know! The time to educate yourself on fire and legal liability is before an event, not after it.

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) states If you are involved in provision of a fire protection package, at any level, then you share liability for its usefulness and its operation when it’s needed in fire, and that liability will still be there in the event of a court case.

Want to know more? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

What responsibility do I have when it comes to fire protection?
If you are the individual in charge of ordering or sourcing materials and arranging a contractor to install the fire protection goods; you must request proof that they have the competence to carry out the work in question. This is not just a duty of care, you’re legally obliged to do so.

What happens if I don’t have proof the installer is competent?
If you consciously ignore advice that results in a failure of fire performance of any element of installed fire protection within a building, then you and the installer are both liable.
You share liability for the provision of information required under Building Regulation 16B that tells the user of the building about the fire prevention measures provided in the building. Otherwise, the user cannot make an effective risk assessment under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

What happens if a liability case goes to court?
In the unfortunate event of a fire, which may have resulted in death, a court will request information on how every fire protection system was chosen; the basis for choice of the installer; if sufficient time was provided for its installation, and finally, if there was sufficient communication between the different parties to check it was installed adequately.
There’s no excuses – read more in the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015.

Find out more about the services at H Timmins Group here, or contact us for expert advice.