Comment by: Audrey D’Arcy-Fryer
Focus area: Fire safety regulation
Regulator concerned: Fire safety (Fire Authority)
I currently work for a mental health charity, providing various types of housing nationally. Because of the nature of our business we often have Fire Officer visits to check the building and also the fire risk assessment. I often find that different officers, have different opinions on what’s required, and particularly what equipment should be installed. In once instance in particular, we had an issue where one of our tenants was discharging the extinguishers, causing a lot of damage, and also, throwing them at people. I called the local Fire Officer to seek as advice as to whether I could remove them. He had no problems with me removing the equipment providing that the risk assessment had taken it into consideration. A year to 18 months later, a new Fire Officer turns up to do the inspection, and insists that the extinguishers are re-instated. So now very confused as to whether we should be providing the equipment or not, particularly in common part areas, and if we are supposed to be supplying it, should we be training all our staff and tenants on how to use it. It would be very helpful if there was just one answer to all these questions and not a difference in opinion from different Fire Officers.