Fire safety laws in the home and in the workplace back in the spotlight after Notre Dame inferno

THE blaze that engulfed the historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris shook a nation, as the world watched on in horror.

French police scientists have now begun their painstaking forensic search for clues into what caused the devastating fire.

Until the mystery is unravelled, the question still exists whether the inferno could have been prevented if more robust safety precautions had been taken.

Media reports suggest the possibility that the Notre Dame officials chose not to install vital fire safety upgrades.

If true, it puts fire safety not just in France but across the world under further intense scrutiny. Closer to home, the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed 71 victims, had already put fire safety top of the British Government agenda.

Both tragedies serve to remind businesses and individuals – particularly commercial and residential property owners – across Yorkshire and the UK about their own legal responsibilities.

Legislation in the UK was implemented in October 2006 under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to update the archaic Fire Precautions Act 1971 amongst other fire safety rules and legislation.

The updated laws brought in the requirement to carry out regular fire risk assessments.

These ensure that buildings and premises are safe, and confirm that all the necessary fire precautions have been taken out to prevent and reduce the risk of fire.

This updated fire safety legislation is particularly important to residential homes and workplaces.

It might be something that landlords or potential buyers of flats, apartments and houses in multiple occupation do not consider important.

However, in light of these events, this legal duty should clearly be taken more seriously.

It is also important to stress that mortgage lenders have also updated their requirements to ensure that the necessary assessments have been carried out.

In some cases, they may refuse to lend if inadequate checks have been made.

During the inquiry investigation when purchasing a leasehold property, the property team at Milners solicitors will always ensure that a formal fire risk assessment has been carried out and had sight of that report.

Within the report, the assessor will confirm if there are any recommendations that should be carried out. Serious consideration should be given to the matters listed which have not been rectified.

Fire safety precautions should also be carried out by employers in the workplace. Failure to comply with fire safety regulations can result in substantial fines.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding fire safety legislation, or any other property-related issues, such as conveyancing, please do not hesitate to contact our award-winning Property team here at Milners on 0113 245 0852 or email us at hello@milnerslaw

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