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Fire Safety in Houses of Multiple Occupation . Presented by Station Officer Greg Rataj Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service. Aims & Objectives. Legislative Overview Requirements under the Fire Safety Order 5 Steps of Fire Risk Assessment

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Fire safety in houses of multiple occupation l.jpg

Fire Safety in Houses of Multiple Occupation

Presented by

Station Officer Greg Rataj

Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service

19th March 2008 G Rataj HFRS


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Aims & Objectives

  • Legislative Overview

  • Requirements under the Fire Safety Order

  • 5 Steps of Fire Risk Assessment

  • Guide to Fire Protection in Houses of Multiple Occupation

19th March 2008


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Legislative Overview

  • Housing Act 2004

    A House in Multiple Occupation is a building or part of a building that is:

    a) occupied by more than one household who share an amenity such as a

    bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities; or

    b) converted self contained flats that do not meet the 1991 Building

    Regulations, where at least one third of the flats are occupied under short

    tenancies.

19th March 2008


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Housing Act 2004 (cont)

  • Section 10 Consultation with fire and rescue authorities in certain cases

  • (2) Before taking enforcement action, the authority must consult the fire and rescue authority for the area in which the HMO or building is situated.

19th March 2008


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Housing Act (cont)

  • Licensed required in all HMOs where

    • 5 or more households reside and

    • Premises is 3 storeys and more.

19th March 2008


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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

  • Applies to all premises (with defined exceptions)

  • Domestic Premises

  • “domestic premises”

  • means premises occupied as a private dwelling (including any garden, yard, garage, outhouse, or other appurtenance of such premises which is not used in common by the occupants of more than one such dwelling);

19th March 2008


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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005(Cont)

  • The Fire Service have legislative control over common areas of HMOs

  • Local Authority have legislative control over the dwelling space

19th March 2008


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Main requirements of the FSO

  • Take general fire precautions to ensure that the premises are safe.

  • Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment to identify the general fire precautions required.

  • Record the significant findings of the risk assessment, if licensed.

19th March 2008



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1. Identify the Fire Hazards

  • Potential Sources of Ignition

    • Smoking

    • Cooking Equipment

    • Electrical Equipment

    • Candles

19th March 2008


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Hazard Identification (Cont)

  • Potential Sources of Fuel

    • Furniture

    • Rubbish

    • Occupant possessions (Videos, Paper, Clothing)

    • Wall and Ceiling hangings

19th March 2008


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2. Identify the people at Risk

  • Who?

    • Occupants

    • Visitors

    • Cleaners

  • Why?

    • Sleeping

    • Unfamiliar with premises

    • Working alone

19th March 2008


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3. Evaluate the risk of a Fire Occurring

  • Preventative Measures

    • reduce the ignition sources

    • reduce the fuel load

    • evaluate how fire and smoke may still affect occupants in a variety of scenarios.

  • Protective Measures

    • fire detection and warning

    • fire fighting equipment

    • protected escape routes

    • emergency/escape lighting

19th March 2008


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4. Record, Plan, Inform, Instruct, Train

  • You must record the Significant findings of your risk assessment

    • fire Hazards

    • preventative measures

    • persons at risk

    • protective measures

    • emergency Plan

    • the information/training people require and how that is done

19th March 2008


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5.Review

  • On a regular basis

  • If you believe your current risk assessment is invalid

    • Increase in number of occupants

    • Change to layout of premises

    • Change in clientelle

    • Failure of protective or preventative measures

19th March 2008


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Service Level agreement

  • Purpose

    • Set minimum standards for inter-agency working

    • Ensure a suitable level of co-operation between the two enforcing authorities

    • Allowed that each local authority could agree specific details in line with their needs

    • Ensured a consistent approach to fire safety standards and enforcement across the county

19th March 2008


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Guide to Fire Precautions in Houses in Multiple Occupation

  • Generic guidance on the protective measures required in typical 2 and 3 storey HMOs

  • Based on guidance issued to support the Fire Safety order

19th March 2008


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Guide to Fire Precautions in Houses in Multiple Occupation (Cont)

  • Consists of 8 sections

    • Importance of Fire Safety

    • Fire Prevention

    • General Principles for Fire Precautions

    • Example Layouts & Solutions

    • Maintenance of Fire Precautions

    • Technical Specifications

    • Records

    • Sprinkler systems.

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Typical Examples (Cont)

19th March 2008








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Typical two storey house with shared cooking facilities (Cont)

AFD to BS5839 Pt 6 Grade D

Protected Escape (30 Min)

Emergency Lighting to escape route

Fire Blanket in Kitchen

19th March 2008


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2 storey HMO with cooking facilities in each let (Cont)

AFD to BS 5839 Pt 6 Grade D + single point hard wired smoke detector to each let

Fire Blanket in each room

Protected route (30 Min)

Emergency Lighting to escape route

19th March 2008


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Typical 3 storey house, cooking in each room (Cont)

AFD to BS 5839 Pt 6 Grade A + single point hard wired smoke detectors to each let

Protected route (30 Min)

Fire Blanket in each let

Emergency lighting to escape route

19th March 2008


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Typical 3 storey HMO shared cooking (Cont)

AFD to BS 5839 Pt 6 Grade A

Protected route (30 Min)

Emergency Lighting to escape route

Fire Blanket in kitchen

19th March 2008


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2 storey HMO with basement (Cont)

AFD to BS 5839 Pt 6 Grade D

Protected route (30 Min)

60 min separation to basement

Fire Blanket in Kitchen

Emergency lighting to escape route

19th March 2008


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2 storey HMO above commercial premises with cooking facilities

60 min separation between HMO and commercial premises

AFD to BS 5839 Pt 6 Grade A (heat detection)

Smoke detection in each let

Fire blanket in each let

Emergency lighting to escape route

19th March 2008


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Questions? facilities

19th March 2008


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