RICS launches new fire safety advice for public

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According to a recent article published by Inside Housing, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published new fire safety advice for the public to highlight the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants in keeping their homes safe.

The RICS has released a guide that includes independent simple safety advice. Written with homeowners and residential tenants in mind, the guidance offers basic, comprehensible advice.

According to figures obtained by RICS, there are still a significant number of deaths and injuries each year from fires in residential properties.

The new advice aims to highlight and differentiate the responsibilities of both the occupier and landlord when it comes to fire safety, and contains specific advice for owner-occupied properties on fire detection, extinguishing and accessibility and special needs assistance.

For rented or shared accommodation, the guidance includes landlord obligations with appliance, furniture and alarm compliance to inform where responsibility lies in these properties.

The new RICS guidance comes weeks after a four-storey block of flats was destroyed by fire in south-west London. The timber-framed Richmond House is owned by Metropolitan Thames Valley and is expected to take at least 18 months to rebuild. In June, a fire destroyed homes at Samuel Garside House in east London. Both fires follow on from the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, where 72 residents died.

The new advice is targeted at making homes as safe as possible by understanding risks as well as looking at ways to minimise and manage fire safety measures.

Gary Strong, director of practice standards and technical guidance at the RICS, said:

“Never has fire safety been in the public domain so much as it is now. With recent fires in residential property, there is an urgent need for the public, landlords and residents to be aware of what can cause fires and the measures they should take to stay safe. RICS is acting in the public interest in publishing this guide, which we hope will be of benefit widely.”

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Reference: Inside Housing