The number of low and medium rise residential buildings with serious fire and life safety deficiencies is high but as they are not high rise they have slipped off the radar in most cases.
They deserve, indeed demand as much attention as the larger sites which grab all the headlines.
One more death irrespective of the size of the building is one too many.
There are many many buildings in the 10-20m range with poor infrastructure, poor on non-existent passive protection and door provision outside of the requirements of BS 476 and within buildings unable to meet BS 999 due to age or poor support or poor design.
The need for a very competent fire risk assessment to take an overview of what is in place, and more importantly what is not is vital, more critical to trying to ensure that any subsequent issues are within the capabilities of whatever measures are specified.
Short cuts, value engineering or other “nice to have’s” are unacceptable in a post Grenfell/Hackitt era.
New doors should be fully TPC – supply and installation BMT/BWF – Fire alarm, AOV or Evac systems should be BAFE and electricals NICEIC. Full TPC gives you a fighting chance of compliance.
In most cases now the minimum requirements of the standards are not sufficient.
There is a need for education to freeholders and landlords, to management companies and the FM market that the “that’ll do” mentality is no longer acceptable in a life safety application.
Grenfell provided a very costly reminder to everyone of the consequences of short cuts and its something the enforcement authorities and courts will not tolerate again so forewarned is forearmed.
Whatever guidance given must be based solely around best practice and not ever cost or history will repeat itself.
Only by using TPC providers can you hope to provide what is required, the appreciations of the fact that non-compliance issues are a disclosure issue for the clients insurance providers and fully documented for any subsequent audit.