Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
October 4, 2016

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Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

BWF-Certifire leads calls for national register of responsible persons

The person responsible for a building’s fire safety should be advertised to its residents or occupants as prominently as its first aiders, according to the organisations behind Fire Door Safety Week.

It’s a legal requirement in many workplaces for the nominated first aider to be named on health and safety posters.

In the week marking the 10-year anniversary of the Fire Safety Order’s introduction in England and Wales, the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), BWF-Certifire and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme are calling for a public national register of responsible persons – those bearing legal responsibility for fire-assessments in buildings.

Another major fire broke out in a block of flats last week – at least the third in the last six weeks – just as new research revealed that more than half (59%) of all tenants don’t know who they should be reporting fire safety concerns to.

“We continue to house some of our most vulnerable residents in buildings with inadequate levels of fire safety,” said Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week. “The fire service regularly has to deal with problems such as fire doors hanging off hinges, breaches in structural fire compartmentation, poor installation and maintenance of life safety products, non-existent or outdated fire-risk assessments and blocked fire exits.

“Knowing what we know about the potentially devastating consequences of an out-of-control fire, this situation is completely unacceptable.

“Worse still is the basic lack of information given to residents about how and where to direct their own observations and concerns about fire safety in the building where they live.

“The responsible person should not be a mystery person lurking in the shadows, but must be front and centre so that people know where to take their problems.

“Taking on board the concerns of residents, we have made available through Fire Door Safety Week posters that help identify the responsible person by name and provide the appropriate contact details.”

“This empowers residents and building users to raise problems and ensures that those responsible for keeping them safe are made aware of issues directly. This doesn’t do away with the need for fire risk assessments, but supplements an effective process by harnessing the crowd to stay vigilant.”

Find out more about your legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 on the Fire Door Safety Week website.

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