Fire safety for you and your buildings

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, we take a look at the importance of fire risk assessments and having the right insurance to respond to a fire at your property. 

Following the recent Grenfell Tower fire, we have been contacted by numerous clients and local businesses who are concerned about their properties. We’d like to share some of these concerns with all of our clients along with some technical guidance and recommendations which may be of interest for those with a property portfolio.


Fire Risk Assessments

Whether you are an owner of a residential or commercial property, you are required by law to conduct a fire risk assessment. You can complete a Fire Risk Assessment yourself or ask for it to be carried out by an assessor registered with the Institution of Fire Engineers, but either way, it should include: -

• Identification of the fire hazards

• Identification of the people at risk

• Evaluation, removal or reduction of the risks

• Recording findings, preparing an emergency plan and communicating it

Remember it is important to review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.


Important considerations

Everyone knows how quickly a fire can spread and the extent of damage it can cause. If the worst should happen, it is vital that you have an insurance policy that will respond. Whilst the number one priority is to ensure that everyone escapes safely, you should also consider whether your insurance cover is sufficient to have the property rebuilt as it was before. If you don’t have the correct sums insured, your insurer could apply the ‘average clause’ which could cost you a fortune!


Here is a quick calculation to illustrate:

If you have your sums insured set at £400,000 but the actual rebuild cost is £800,000, you would be 50%underinsured. This would mean that any claim you make for the property would be reduced by 50% and you would have to pay the remaining 50% out of your own pocket. Could you afford £400,000?


What happens next?

Alan & Thomas have been working to put together a Rebuild Cost Assessment Service for our clients and many have already taken advantage of it. We think it is so important to consider the indemnity period and obtain accurate sums insured for your buildings that we are providing this service for only £85(+VAT) for commercial properties and £60(+VAT) for residential properties.