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Multiple occupancy risk from fire

By May 30, 2013News

In multiple occupancy buildings, where other businesses or domestic residences are located in the same property as yours, a fire in one part of the building represents a threat in all the other parts.

Ventilation or extract ductwork can pose a large fire risk in multiple occupancy situations. Dust or fibre particles can collect in ventilation systems, as will fat and grease deposits in kitchen extract ductwork. Both can provide fuel for a fire, while the ductwork also provides a ready-made chimney system which can spread fire to other parts of the building.

Vulnerable to the effects of fire

There could be worse news to follow. If the ductwork hasn’t been regularly cleaned and maintained, in accordance with Fire Safety Regulations and Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) regulations your buildings insurance may be rendered null and void, so any claim you try to make after a fire may be unsuccessful. In a multiple occupancy building, you may also face claims from other occupiers whose homes or businesses may have suffered damage due to the fire that started on your premises.

Corporate Manslaughter charges can result if fire breaks out in a duct that hasn’t been cleaned properly as required by law.

Protect yourself

Regularly cleaned ductwork doesn’t provide further fuel for fire, which is therefore less likely to spread. Building occupants are also more likely to be able to evacuate safely and there is a much greater chance of bringing the fire under control before serious damage is done.

Furthermore, if you can prove, through the certification of regular specialist cleaning, that you have fulfilled all your legal responsibilities, you will give yourself a large degree of protection. If your insurance company has the necessary evidence that you have complied with the terms of their policy, as well as health and safety and fire regulations, you will be well placed to make a successful claim. And this is also vital protection against being prosecuted in the event of a fire, as you will be able to demonstrate that you have been compliant, not negligent.

Specialist cleaning is therefore vital. Just as important is diligent reporting and certification. We can help you to get all of that in place, giving you a safer building and far greater peace of mind.