Fire risks and safety in empty buildings

Fire protection is crucial to the safety of empty buildings. It also ensures you comply with the law and the requirements of your insurance company.

Managing Fire risk

If you are selling or letting the property, it is added appeal to new owners/tenants if you can demonstrate you’re fully compliant on all aspects of fire safety in your empty building. All health and safety should also be up to date.

Fire safety in empty buildings also protects your assets whist empty. Arson, criminal damage and theft is often more common in empty buildings than those which are occupied.

As the landlord, you have a ‘duty of care’ to anyone entering the building – employees or visitors. Legal liability can rest with the owner should someone in the property suffer an injury.

Fire Risk Assessment (FRA)

Although empty, you must carry out a FRA to identify all potential fire risks in the building. The aim of the FRA is to reduce or eliminate these risks, if possible. A FRA can be a simple task if the building adheres to current building regulations; if not, it can be far more complex and expensive to correct problems.

Fire alarms

Working fire alarm systems are essential to provide an early warning sign that there is an issue in your building.
Without a fully functioning fire alarm system, the first signs of a situation are usually when someone sees flames.
By this stage, the fire will have already caused significant damage. It could be too late to recover much of value from the building. Worse still, you stand a good chance of losing the building altogether.

Emergency lighting

In the event of a fire, the electrical supply to the building is without a doubt compromised. A cut in power to lighting circuits makes a safe escape from the building extremely difficult. It also makes life difficulty for the emergency services accessing and travelling through the building.

Fire doors

Fire doors are one of the most effective forms of fire-stopping equipment, if installed correctly. In occupied buildings, fire doors are a crucial part of a fire safety system and effectively hinder the spread of fire. In an empty building where fire is likely to go unnoticed, fire doors can greatly reduce the devastating impact.

1. Always keep fire doors firmly shut at all times otherwise they’re can’t serve their purpose
2. Maintain them regularly

Fire extinguishers

If you have carried out a Fire Risk Assessment, it will say how many fire extinguishers you need, what type, and where they should be positioned.

Timmins Group are Firas accredited to carry out surveys, to maintain and to install timber fire door systems and to certificate on completion. This is particularly important as we work in education, local and civil government and office environments which are required to carry out regular fire door maintenance.

Timmins Group are BMTRADA approved to carry out passive fire protection and are members of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, we can carry out surveys and installations to make sure your buildings are compliant with legislation regarding breaches to floors, walls and ceilings caused by data, heating & plumbing and M&E installation.