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28 September 2018
Just over half of residential tenants (57%) claim that they have not been given any fire safety advice by their landlord. A third received 'basic information' and only 14% would consider the guidance they were given on fire safety to be good.
However, the research by Horbury Property Services found that fire safety knowledge had improved amongst commercial renters compared to results in 2017. For example, 68% of those surveyed knew that a fire door, according to BS 9999, the code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings, should be inspected every six months. Whereas in the same survey 12 months ago, only 40 per cent of those surveyed answered correctly.
Eighty-eight per cent knew that it is the responsible person who needs to take care of fire door assessments in public or commercial buildings. There was also a good level of knowledge when questioned how long a standard CE marked fire door should withstand smoke and flame, with 81% answering correctly at 30 minutes.
Richard Sutton, the company's general manager, said: “We run this survey every year and we are always surprised at the results. This year, it was noticeable how much people actually know about fire safety and fire doors, compared with previous years. However, we are concerned how many fire doors were being used incorrectly, for example by being propped open, which would make them ineffective in the event of a fire. This may have been due to bad habits during the warmer weather, but is something that should not be done with any fire door."
Ninety-five per cent said they had seen a fire door propped open in their own workplace or a public building in the last three months. Thirty-six per cent said they had seen this almost every day and 32% had seen it at least once a week.
“It was also interesting to find out people’s thoughts about what would make them feel safer in their buildings, with such high numbers mentioning building regulations, fire sprinklers and greater checks on fire doors," Mr Sutton said.
"This was a very positive survey and showed just how much landlords, contractors and the general public do know about fire doors.”
When asked what would make them feel safer to prevent fires, the top answer (45%) was tighter building regulations on fire safety, the second most popular answer was fire sprinklers (36%) and third, more regular fire door checks (18%).
Although the survey revealed some faults with how fire doors are used, those surveyed seemed to be fairly confident about the building they work or live in is fire safe. One in five answered that they were very confident and 77% were reasonably confident about whether their building is safe and they would have adequate time to escape in a fire.
Horbury Property Services