Approved: Performance and Policy Committee June Regulatory Code: Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

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1 policy fire safety in communal areas Responsible Officer: Assistant Chief Executive Asset Management Approved: Performance and Policy Committee June 2015 Review Date: June 2016 QAF: Health and Safety Regulatory Code: Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 Scope: Group Wide Incommunities Group Limited is registered in England with Companies House No Registered address: The Quays, Victoria Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire BD17 7BN

2 Fire Safety in Communal Areas Policy 1.0 Introduction 1.1 This policy applies to the fire safety arrangements in all workplaces, common areas of residential premises and any other premises managed or owned by Incommunities. The key Objectives are to comply with all current fire safety legislation (namely the Building Regulations 2010, the Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) 1.2 It will also minimise the risk of fire and subsequent danger to occupants of all premises controlled by Incommunities, achieve best practice in the approach to fire safety, obtaining standards above the minimum legislative requirements where possible. Tenant Involvement will include the observance of fire safety arrangements applicable to the communal areas of residential properties. 2.0 Statement of Intent 2.1 The Senior Management Team and the Board of Incommunities acknowledge their moral and legal duty to ensure that all employees, tenants, and visitors to premises under Incommunities control, are adequately protected from all foreseeable fire risks that may arise. In order to achieve this Incommunities will ensure that adequate resources are made available, suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments are conducted and appropriate preventive and protective measures are identified and implemented in all premises under Incommunities control. 2.2 Incommunities aims to provide a safe environment in which our tenants and other relevant persons are assured that the risk of fire or fire related injury is minimised. 2.3 Incommunities will foster and maintain good working relationships with partner services to ensure the ongoing safety of our tenants, employees and customers; this includes West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. 2.4 Incommunities is committed to ensuring ongoing compliance with all applicable fire safety legislation, in particular the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order Policy 3.1 General Aims/Objectives: In order to help minimise the likelihood of fire occurring and the consequences in the event that a fire occurs, Incommunities will implement arrangements designed to ensure: Suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 are undertaken at appropriate intervals, the significant findings recorded and necessary remedial work undertaken in a timely fashion.

3 In line with current guidance, Incommunities will seek to undertake fire risk assessments to the following frequencies: o Purpose built high rise blocks of flats (four storey and above) annually o Sheltered accommodation annually o Offices annually o Purpose built low rise blocks of flats (up to three storeys) every three to four years Increased awareness for staff and residents through communication and appropriate fire safety management Adequate levels of basic fire safety awareness and staff competency through effective training programmes Adequate exercises, servicing, maintenance and testing of fire safety equipment. Effective liaison with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service 3.2 Responsibilities and Fire Safety Management Article 3 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states: In this Order, responsible person means a) in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control; b) in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a) (i) the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not) or (ii) the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking As the employer and landlord Incommunities must, so far as is reasonably practicable, take steps to reduce the risk from fire in our premises and make sure that everyone can escape safely if there is a fire. Therefore, although the Chief Executive has the overall responsibility for any given premises, the various people with responsibilities for fire safety management, including the people involved in the fire safety core group are outlined in APPENDIX A1. With respect to fire safety this includes: Ensuring effective fire safety management for work activities undertaken by Incommunities Ensuring effective fire safety management of properties managed by Incommunities Ensuring adequate resources are made available to meet Incommunities legal fire safety obligations and ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of staff and residents

4 The Chief Executive will be assisted in her duties by nominated and adequately trained employees. Employees have a duty to co-operate with the Chief Executive so far as is necessary to enable the legislation to be complied with. Roles and specific responsibilities are to be allocated to employees as necessary. Appendix A1 details the Fire Safety Management Structure within Incommunities. All employees have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work. 3.3 General Principles This policy relates to all types of premises covered under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, ie non-residential premises and the common areas only of residential purpose built blocks of flats and sheltered accommodation. Residents of individual general needs properties, sheltered schemes, whether leaseholders or tenants, are responsible for their own fire safety within their private homes, including carrying out regular tests of their individual fire detection system. The storage of bicycles, furniture, pushchairs/prams and other bulky items will not generally be permitted in communal access or escape routes in residential premises unless agreed with the relevant Office in advance. Under no circumstances should highly flammable materials be stored in any communal areas other than designated storage rooms. In the case of mobility scooters where no designated storage area exists they must be stored in the tenant s individual flat. They must not be stored in access or escape routes. Under no circumstances should mobility scooters be charged in any communal areas other than specially equipped designated charging/storage rooms. A strict no smoking policy will be maintained in all communal areas. Action in the event of a fire Residential accommodation within a purpose built block of flats or a sheltered complex: Purpose built accommodation to have a stay put policy, unless otherwise specified within the fire risk assessment. This means that occupants are safe to stay in their flat should there be a fire elsewhere in the building. Converted accommodation will have a total evacuation policy. This means that all occupants are to self- evacuate once the fire alarm sounds. 3.4 Commercial accommodation and community premises All premises to have a total evacuation policy. This means that all occupants are to self- evacuate once the fire alarm sounds.

5 Signage will be posted within all types of accommodation so that people are aware of what the policy is for each individual building. 3.5 Evacuation Exercises Fire evacuation exercises will be conducted at least twice annually in non-residential buildings. Residential premises with alarms will be assessed as to the appropriateness of regular fire drills on an individual basis. Performance will be monitored to ensure that buildings can be evacuated in a safe and timely manner. All new employees will be instructed in the fire evacuation procedure on induction Special Needs for evacuation: Incommunities acknowledges its responsibilities to ensure that persons with disabilities are not put at increased risk in the event of a fire Assisted Evacuation For non-residential buildings it is the responsibility of each employee to inform their line manager of any physical or sensory impairment he/she may have, including temporary impairment, which may affect the speed in which they can safely evacuate the premises. The manager must, in consultation with the employee, develop a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP). In residential premises, should assistance be requested, where practicable Incommunities will provide advice and guidance to assist residents in developing their own means of escape plan. This will not involve the assistance of staff in the evacuation. Liaison will take place with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service on how best to record and store information on non-ambulant or disabled residents in residential blocks. A fire safety box will be fitted within each block of flats and sheltered scheme in which a register will be kept and maintained of who would need assistance in the event of an evacuation. This information is available to the fire service. 4.0 Implementation 4.1 Fire Safety Core Group A cross group team of employees will form the Fire Safety Core Group who will meet quarterly to: To ensure compliance with all aspects of fire safety legislation To keep abreast of changes to legislation and associated guidance documents To report to Senior Management Team on any and all appropriate matters in particular, progress against action plans, resource requirements and any matter that may require further consideration To develop, monitor and review policies and procedures that reflect the role stated above To ensure consistency of approach to fire safety through effective communication

6 To ensure fire safety training is adequate and up-to-date for all staff To monitor, record and measure performance To liaise with the Fire and Rescue Service and any other appropriate body To report to the Board

7 1. Role and Responsibilities: Fire Safety Core Group Terms of Reference The role and responsibilities of the Fire Safety Core Group is to ensure ongoing compliance with all relevant fire safety legislation. It will keep under review the effective management of fire safety across Incommunities, with the object of promoting fire safety at all times. 2. Terms of Reference: Duties of the Fire Safety Core Group will be: i. To ensure compliance with all aspects of fire safety legislation ii. To keep abreast of changes to legislation and associated guidance documents iii. To report to Senior Management Team on any and all appropriate matters in particular, progress against action plans, resource requirements and any matter that may require further consideration iv. To develop, monitor and review policies and procedures that reflect the role stated above. v. To ensure consistency of approach to fire safety through effective communication. vi. To ensure fire safety training is adequate and up-to-date for all staff vii. To monitor, record and measure performance viii. To liaise with the Fire and Rescue Service and any other appropriate body ix. To report to the Board 3. Meetings: The Chair of the Fire Safety Core Group is the Assistant Chief Executive Asset Management. Meetings are to take place once every three months and are to be attended by: Senior Occupational Safety Adviser ACE Asset Management Technical Services Manager Building Services Technical Officers (Fire Safety) Building Services A Director of Neighbourhood Services Director of Estate and Support Services or Estate Services Manager Director of Building Services or Operations Manager Special Electrical Maintenance Manager Building Services Savills (Fire Safety Surveyors/Risk Assesssors) Leasehold and Commercial Property Manager If an attendee is unable to make any given meeting then their line manager or a colleague in a similar role should substitute, this will ensure the Core Group is given priority. 4. Authority: The Fire Safety Core Team is authorised by the Chief Executive undertake any activity within its terms of reference.

8 5. Agenda: The fire safety core group will discuss at every meeting; - Fire Incidents - Compliance with legislation - Fire Risk Assessments - Fire Safety Remedial Works - Recording and storage of information - Training - Fire Service Liaison - AOB 4.2 Communication with Staff This will be achieved through training, fire exercises, appropriate signage and the intranet. 4.3 Communication with residents A copy of the standard fire action notice is given to residents on sign up, which explains what to do in the event of a fire, both in their flat and elsewhere. An assessment form is completed for any new resident who cannot self- evacuate. Through appropriate Fire Action signage in conjunction with other forms of communication provided on a regular basis such as web-site, newsletters, leaflets and home information packs. 4.4 Liaison with the Local Fire and Rescue Service Incommunities will communicate regularly with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure good lines of communication and operational familiarity of Incommunities buildings. Where residents have stored medical oxygen in their properties they are responsible for informing Incommunities so the Local Fire Service can be alerted to the presence of stored oxygen in the premises. 5.0 Performance Management 5.1 Recording of Information All fire safety related information will be recorded on site wherever possible and kept up-to-date. This will include: Documented fire risk assessments Documented reviews or amendments of the fire risk assessment Identification of households requiring assistance in evacuating

9 Fire precautions records including regular checking of all fire precaution measures, the fire alarm system tests, the emergency lighting system tests, fixed heating and electrical systems and fire extinguishers service records Fire safety training records and fire drills where appropriate. All of the above information will be kept in a fire safety box sited on the premises and maintained by the relevant people outlined on the fire safety management structure 5.2 Training Fire safety training for staff will be provided as required and also at induction for new members of staff. This is will be categorised into 2 main areas: Policy and General basic fire safety awareness: general training for all staff covering the main aspects of basic fire safety and any issues relating to Incommunities policy. o Regular training for relevant staff and new starters shall be provided Task specific: training tailored to the specific fire safety related tasks that individuals may be required to undertake as part of their remit o Fire extinguisher training shall be provided for relevant staff at regular intervals. o Fire warden training for premises where the fire safety strategy is anything other than stay put shall be provided at regular intervals 6.0 Review 6.1 This policy will be reviewed annually or following significant legislative change, by the Fire Safety Core Group. 7.0 Monitoring 7.1 Monitoring of Incommunities fire precautions will be undertaken: By staff visiting or working within premises, eg Sheltered Scheme Coordinators, and Estate Services staff are to carry out regular checks to common parts to ensure that they are safe Through fire risk assessments and/ or reviews of fire risk assessments at the appropriate intervals as outlined in item 2 Testing regimes Technical staff and contractors undertaking testing as detailed below: Alarm systems weekly test by site staff, monthly test by contractor Emergency escape lighting quarterly test by contractor Fixed electrical installations test every five years by contractor PAT (Portable appliance test) Test annually by contractor Lightning conductors annually by contractor Fire extinguishers annually by contractor Dry risers annually by contractor Through periodic audit by Incommunities external auditors

10 Group Board Chief Executive Officer Members of the Fire Safety Core Group. Assistant Chief Executive (Asset Management) Assistant Chief Executive Assistant Chief Executive (Neighbourhood Services) Director of Building Services Director Estate Support Services Director Director Operations Manager Fire Safety Core Group Technical Services Manager (Fire Safety) Estate Services Manager Support Sheltered Scheme Manager Support Manager 1&2 Officers 1&2 Manager 3&4 Officers 3&4 Senior Field/ Site Managers Field/Site Managers Electrical Surveyors Specialist Electrical Technical Surveyors Fire Safety Corporate Health and Safety Manager Cleaning Staff Scheme Coordinator s Appendix A1

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