Emergency Procedures - Fire
Category Newsletter: Article 1
There appears to have been a number of incidence of fires in buildings of late which is a real risk especially for multiple storey and high rise buildings. It is essential that fire equipment is serviced annually and should the company performing the service makes recommendations, serious consideration is given to such recommendations . A breach of the fire regulations could expose the trustees and the body corporate to risks in the event that a fire claim is repudiated because the fire equipment was not up to standard or adequate.
In the interests of safety, trustees and directors of shareblock companies should consider compiling an Emergency Procedure Plan. This document should be displayed in an area where it can be seen and easily read. We would suggest that a copy be provided to each flat for affixing behind the front door. In addition to this a copy should be displayed in a suitable common area such as on the notice board and/or in the lift.
The Emergency Procedure should clearly describe what action should be taken by persons reporting a risk and the action to be taken by the residents who respond to the risk. A suitable “Assembly Point” should also be identified with appropriate signage erected.
You may contact your Portfolio Manager who has a template that you may want to use but the document needs to be specifically modified for your complex. Due and careful consideration must therefore be given when preparing the emergency procedure to ensure that all individuals know what their role is and what to do to do in an emergency.
High rise buildings are encouraged to have a team of “Fire Marshalls”. These teams are made up, for example, of residents, trustees, directors and the supervisor/building manager and other employees such as your general workers who are often the eyes and ears of the complex. Fire Marshalls must be willing to be trained by the local fire department on basic fire fighting should this be considered necessary.
In addition to the above, we are of the view that the trustees should request all owners to have at least 1 fire extinguisher and/or a fire blanket in the kitchen which should enable a competent person to safely extinguish a small kitchen fire. In addition to this, smoke detectors strategically placed should alert residents to smoke in their flat and serves as an early warning.
Author: Wakefields Property Management