Installation of fire safety equipment doesn’t only keep your premises protected from the outbreak of fire, it can also help you meet the requirements of insurance providers and lower your insurance costs. Whether you are a business running a commercial premises, a landlord that owns a number of homes, or an individual homeowner, it is essential that you understand the fire equipment your property should have to stay safe and insured.
Fire Safety Equipment, Insurance, and Commercial Properties
There are multiple forms of insurance that a business can take out to ensure commercial premises, and the businesses running from them, are protected from the financial damage that fire can cause. Though there are only a few compulsory insurances (including the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969), having contents and building insurance for your commercial property can protect your business and help it recover should a fire occur onsite.
While each insurance policy will differ, some may ask businesses to show proof of meeting their legal obligations regarding fire safety in order to provide cover. In some cases, such as regarding liability insurance under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, insurers cannot refuse to pay compensation because of failure to provide reasonable protection. However, the insurer may be allowed to sue to reclaim the cost of the compensation if they believe you haven’t met your legal responsibilities.
Legislation surrounding fire safety has a level of flexibility to ensure that the most appropriate equipment and procedures are implemented within a workplace. An employer has a legal responsibility to put in place appropriate fire and safety measures that are regularly maintained, and provide adequate training to all employees.
It is valuable to all workplaces to have sufficient fire safety equipment including documentation outlining evacuation procedures, working fire and smoke alarms, and fire resistant barriers to allow for safe evacuation and to prevent fire from spreading. The type of barrier your business requires depends on the industry to work within, the area and size of your premises. Choosing a fire resistant roller shutter provides a multi-functional barrier that can deliver a high standard of security as well as the required fire integrity, whereas a fire curtain can help create a safe evacuation route should an outbreak occur.
Fire Safety Equipment, Insurance, and Residential Properties
The type of cover you need for a residential property differs depending on how the property is used. Though in existing houses, homeowners do not have to comply with any legislation regarding fire safety, if you are planning renovation work, or are a residential landlord, then you will have to comply with legal requirements and may have to meet set standards in order to keep your insurance policy valid.
Landlord Responsibilities and protective equipment
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 does comply to residential landlords and their properties. This means that they must carry out a risk assessment and install fire alarm systems and precautionary equipment. Failing to make reasonable changes to your home and carrying out a risk assessment can result in financial penalties and more expensive insurance costs, with some insurers unable to insure properties that fail to meet the statutory requirements.
Implementing equipment at homes during building and renovation
During the design and build of a new home or during renovation, homeowners are legally required to comply with legislation regarding fire safety. The legislation, outlined in The Building Regulations 2010, Approved Document B Volume 1 states that your home needs to have a protected means of escape and/or must have means to compartmentalise a space to contain fire. Therefore during the design process, you must consider fire safety equipment in order to achieve approval from Building Control.
Providing safe means of escape during a fire means that appropriate materials and devices must be installed during the build. These can include smoke and fire curtains in open plan living areas to section off high risk areas or to allow for safe passage from upper storeys to ground floor exits, or implementing fireproof walls.
Implementing fire safety equipment during the build is not only a legal requirement, but can also help lower insurance premiums and excesses for homeowners.
HAG install and maintain fireproof roller shutters and fire curtains in residential and commercial premises. For more information about our services and products, please get in touch with a member of our team by calling 0800 072 3444.
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