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Gas safety certificates urged to be extended by Housing Associations
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Information Published 01/04/2020
Inside Housing has reported that “Housing associations are pushing the government to extend gas safety certificates from 12 to 18 months in order to protect their workers from the spread of coronavirus.”
In the article, Ian Johnson – Director of Property Services at Karbon Homes, told Inside Housing that “a review of the current system is needed, particularly given that the government has announced a similar six-month extension to MOT testing for cars.”
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) guidance states that “where reasonable, safe for you and in line with other Government guidance, we recommend that you allow local authorities, landlords or contractors access to your property in order to inspect or remedy urgent health and safety issues.” - Coronavirus (COVID-19)Guidance for Landlords and Tenants (Clause 3.2)
It is likely that crucial fire safety work required falls under an “urgent health and safety issue” (e.g. faulty detectors/emergency lighting) and should be repaired as soon as possible in a safe manner following Government guidance.
This also applies to commercial properties, where fire safety obligations should still be upheld. Last week, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue published information advising businesses to review fire risk assessments regarding new working arrangements (i.e. limited/no office staff or increased demand with necessary businesses still open). Other fire safety provisions should also continue to be maintained (where safe to do so) and any emergency work on these is vital to ensure they will operate in the event of a fire.
Until it is notified by Government, fire safety legislation still applies in its current form with no exceptions. Where it is not possible to fulfil work, it is strongly recommended that this should be a documented agreement between your fire safety provider and yourself as the premises manager (and should be reviewed when safe to do so).
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue is advising businesses to review fire risk assessments Thursday 26th March 2020
Home Office informs the FIA about Key Worker status of fire safety personnel Monday 23rd March 2020
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Legal obligations nationwide require the appointed responsible person for fire safety for commercial/non-domestic premises to have adequate fire protection.