Fire Safety Back in the News after Bristol Apartment Block Blaze

Published: 10 Oct 2022

Unfortunately, another serious fire has occurred at an apartment block in Bristol. The fire occurred overnight on Sunday 25th September. Fire Services were on scene quickly and able to extinguish the fire, but sadly one man lost his life trying to escape, eight individuals were taken to hospital.

The actual cause of the fire is stated as accidental and is thought to have been started by the lithium-ion battery of an electric bicycle.

This significant fire in an apartment block emphasises the importance of fire safety and why companies must ensure they have a high level of fire safety on site to not only protect the people staying there but to also protect the business and the buildings.

As a business you have a legal requirement to ensure that guests and residents are aware of any fire procedures at the building and to ensure their safety in an event of a fire. There are a number of things you should put in place to reduce the risk of fire and improve fire safety management the can include the following:

  • Have an up-to-date fire risk assessment completed by a competent fire risk assessor which has been actioned and reviewed by the responsible person at site.
  • Ensure that the fire risk assessment is reviewed regularly.
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of fire procedures at site – this includes both daytime and out of hours procedures.
  • A documented out of hours evacuation procedure should be readily available and should be included in the current fire risk assessment.
  • A stay-put strategy may not be suitable for all serviced apartments and Apart Hotels. The current fire evacuation policy/ procedure for your building(s) should be reviewed by a suitably qualified fire risk assessor.
  • Provide guests/ customers with fire information – it is important that the fire action notices in each apartment have what to do if fire is detected or the fire alarm is activated clearly documented. A plan of the nearest fire exit from each apartment is also necessary to help guests to navigate quickly and swiftly from the building in the event of an evacuation.
  • Do not allow the use of BBQs or smoking on balconies.
  • Ensure all fire exits are kept clear and free from clutter and hazards.
  • Ensure fire doors are kept in good condition and are not wedged open or obstructed at any time.
  • Ensure bin storage is in a secure place which doesn’t allow access by unauthorised people (bin store areas are often targets for arsonists).
  • Carry out regular testing of the fire alarm system, have fire extinguishers and emergency light systems tested by external fire safety company.
  • Ensure that in-house checks are carried out for weekly call point testing and monthly fire door, final exit door, extinguishers and emergency lighting checks.

For support or further information please contact CSC.