This hazard covers threats from exposure to uncontrolled fire and associated smoke at a dwelling.
It includes injuries from clothing catching alight on exposure to an uncontrolled fire, which appears to be common when people attempt to extinguish such a fire. However, it does not include injuries caused by clothing catching alight from a controlled fire or flame, which may be caused by reaching across a gas flame or an open fire used for space heating.
Occupier behaviour is a major factor in relation to fires starting. Over 80% of accidental fires in dwellings result from occupier carelessness or misuse of equipment or appliances, etc. Fires started by smokers' materials and matches account for about 40% of accidental deaths from dwelling fires, with a death rate of over 30 per 1,000 reported fires, the highest death rate resulting from any cause of fire ignition.
Vulnerable Group: All persons 60 or more years of age
Defects & Justifications
Heater/cooker position - inappropriate siting and/or close proximity of flammable materials.
Space heating - inadequate for the whole of the dwelling encouraging use of supplemental heaters.
Defects to heating - defects or disrepair to appliances or system.
Clothes drying facilities - lack of indoor facilities.
Number/siting of sockets - insufficient and/or inappropriately sited electric socket outlets.
Electrical installation - defects to the supply, meters, fuses, wiring, sockets or switches.
Non-fire resistant fabric - allowing fire to spread.
Smoke permeable fabric - allowing smoke to spread.
Fire stops to cavities - lack of, allowing fire to spread.
Disrepair to fabric - walls, ceilings and/or floors may allow smoke, fumes and/or fire to spread.
Internal doors - insufficient doors or doors of inappropriate materials or ill-fitting doors.
Self-closers - lack of effective self-closers where appropriate.
Smoke/heat detectors - lack of, or defective, smoke and/or heat detectors with alarms or of detection and alarm system.
Fire fighting equipment - lack of adequate and appropriate means of primary fire fighting.
Lightning protection system - lack of a system where appropriate.
Means of escape - inadequate safe means of escape in case of fire.
Thumb lock not available or not working properly.
Combustible furnishings - including furniture and furnishings.
Presence of an external cladding system and extent to which the building is covered, and absence of any evidence that this is non-combustible
Lack of a current suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment
Outstanding action points from Fire Risk Assessment
Lack of or non-functioning automatic fire detection and alarm system in individual dwellings (in cases where individual dwellings are being inspected)
Non-functioning or poorly managed and maintained smoke control system in the common parts (including any associated smoke detection system where relevant)
Disrepair to the outer surfaces of the building
Disrepair to the fabric and compromising of compartmentation
Absence or inadequate record of dry riser (or wet riser if building over 50m) checking (six-monthly)
Presence of services and service ducts compromising compartmentation
Services not in fire resistant enclosures
Non-functioning smoke vents/control systems or no record of weekly testing in accordance with BS 9999:2017
Non-fire-resistant doors, or badly maintained doors opening on to common parts
Disrepair to refuse chute hopper
Sources of fuel, rubbish or other flammable material whether external or internal
Inadequate waste storage
Opportunity for external intentional fire starting
External unintentional fire starting, e.g. car fire, skip fires, barbecues on balconies
Lack of controlled access or other security measures to the building allowing unauthorised access or risk of arson
Non-fire-resistant doors and door sets to one or more flats including lack of door closer or poorly fitting doors
Absence of or non-functioning fire detection and alarm system in individual dwellings (in cases where individual dwellings are being inspected)
Non-functioning or poorly managed and maintained smoke control system in the common parts, including any associated smoke detection system where relevant (periodic testing schedule)
Non-fire-resistant fabric/enclosure of services
Disrepair to doors forming route of escape to a place of safety including sanctuary for disabled persons
Single route of escape to a place of safety
Narrow route of escape to place of safety
Absence of test certificate for fire lift (if present)
Obstructions to the route of escape, such as mobility scooters, prams/pushchairs (the presence of much may indicate lack of storage within flats)
Absence of, or disrepair to emergency lighting (monthly testing)
Absence of or inadequate record for dry riser (or wet riser if building over 50m) (as in BS 9990:2015) ('fire mains' required in all buildings that are more than 18 m in height)
Lack of suitable access to building for firefighters