Fire safety check list for blocks of flats

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By Alan Draper | Jun 2020

It is essential that a full fire safety risk assessment is completed every 3 years by a suitably qualified professional. On an annual basis, it is essential that an interim  fire safety check is conducted annually (to make sure there are no material changes).  Below is a fire safety checklist used by Common Ground property managers in conjunction with the up to date professionally-prepared fire safety report.

Fire Risk Checklist


Electrical installations

Confirm inspections/tests of fixed electrical installations by competent Electrical Engineer in last 5 years, if not do ASAP.


Inspection Programme

Develop & implement a periodic inspection programme for escape routes & fire protection equipment, to ensure all is functioning correctly. Periodic fire check of final exit doors. Highlight deficiencies to the Responsible Person.


Flat Fire Doors

Assess flat entrance doors. All doors opening onto escape route must be upgraded ASAP to include a self-closer & third fire rated hinge if not already fitted. Also need an intumescent strip/ cold smoke seal with a 30 min fire rating – check if these are fitted and fit if not. Flat doors with letter boxes must have fire rated letter boxes fitted on the inside of the doors, or alternatively be filled over with a fire rated board and have external letterboxes fitted Check & upgrade all doors.  In the long term (eg when the premises undergo major refurbishment) the required standard of FD30S fire doors fitted intumescent strip/ cold smoke seal. If doors are replaced they should be with new doors to today’s standards. Electrics cupboard doors same standard.


Door mats

Remove door mats from outside front doors.


Wires between compartments

Where wires pass between compartments/walls these must all be fire stopped with a suitable fire rated filler/foam that is at least 30 minutes rated (& comply with BS 476).


Front door lock

Check front door lock type. If the front door is fitted with a key operated lock (Mortise) on the inside; sometimes this lock must not be used to lock the door shut. This lock should be removed or fitted with a thumb turn device on the inside. The front door is fitted with a Yale type lock that has a snib (Catch). The catch must be removed.


Fire alarms

Premises which are purpose built flats with means of escape via stairs and landings to a final exit and safety. No fire alarm or automatic fire detection system is required in the common areas of these flats.

Obtain certificate from the Local Council Building Control Department that the premises comply fully with the requirements of the Building Regulations 1991 or later. If cannot obtain certificate or building does not comply then a fire alarm system will be required (reconsult Assessor if so). If the building does comply then the smoke alarm system in the common areas should be removed. There should be Grade: D LD3 system in each flat (not interlinked), with a smoke alarm in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route.


Fire Assembly Point

Designate Fire Assembly point (the street in a safe place is suggested). Indicate on fire action notices.


Fire Log Book

Enter records of testing & maintenance of all fire safety systems & equipment into Fire Log Book. Records of fire safety equipment tests carried out by outside contractors should also be recorded in a Fire Log Book. Keep together all fire-related documents, available for inspection by a Fire Officer (legal requirement).


Fire Notices

You must provide fire notices and locate them at the main entrances and on each floor level. They must state the premises fire strategy – make sure this is correct if it is a stay put policy.


Fire Door Signs

“Fire door keep locked shut” and “Fire door keep shut” signs must be fitted to the outer face of all cupboards and both sides of lobby/stair doors.


Residents aware

Residents must be made fully aware of what to do in the event of a fire i.e. fully evacuate their flat, raise the alarm if it hasn’t already sounded and call the Fire and Rescue Service by dialling 999. this should be documented in their tenancy agreements and displayed on the fire action notices. other residents may stay put in their flats if unaffected by the fire or unless directed to leave by the Fire & Rescue Service.


Emergency Escape Lighting

In accordance with Building Regulations, blocks of flats more than 2 stories high require Emergency Escape Lighting to be installed within the common parts of the building. The emergency lighting must be tested monthly & maintained annually in accordance with BS 5266. Emergency lighting units should display lit LED function lights.


Items in stairways or electric cupboards

Items in/under stairs – remove these & ensure they are not stored in this area. Ensure stairs and escape routes are totally free of combustible items and any obstructions. Residents must be made aware of this. All escape routes & electric cupboards must be kept clear at all times. Residents must be informed of this. If there are electrics in the cupboards no items should be stored in them.


Electric wall heaters

Electric wall heaters must be maintained/services periodically.


Automatic Opening Smoke Vent (AOV)

Is one fitted? must be tested periodically and serviced at least annually in accordance with the installers instructions. Is there a manual control point fitted for Firefighters to use?


Fire Extinguishers

Check whether fire extinguishers are suitable and required – if not then remove them.


Voids/False ceilings

Fire stopping must be in place for pipes/wires above false ceilings. Void areas must be clear of combustible items.


Premises Information Box

In large blocks of flats such as Quakers Court a “Premises Information Box” should be provided by the main entrance. It should contain plans of the building, emergency contacts, gas/electric shut down points and any other relevant information.


Dry Risers

If property has dry risers they must be tested & maintained in accordance with BS 9990.


Private hydrant

If property has a private hydrant this must be tested in accordance with BS 9990. it must be subjected to an annual function test.

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