Fire safety

Fire safety in your home and building, our annual fire safety communication to you

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If you live in a block of flats or any other type of building with more than one home within it, we’re now sending you an annual fire safety update.

It’s all about ensuring you are satisfied your home is safe.

Below is some additional detailed information to explain more about the communication you will receive.

A Fire Risk Assessment is an essential element of fire safety management in a building. A qualified fire risk assessor will identify potential fire hazards and the people who may be affected, evaluate the risks associated with the perceived hazard, and implement measures to eliminate or reduce those risks.

Riverside categorise buildings in from 1 to 3, 1 being the highest priority and 3 being the lowest.

We take into consideration a variety of factors when categorising a property, for example the height of the building or the level of care required for the people living within the building, dependent on the category of the building this will determine how often an FRA is due.

  • Category 1 inspected annually.
  • Category 2 inspected bi-annually.
  • Category 3 inspected 3 yearly.

On the fire risk assessment part of the communication, there are three different risk ratings – low, medium and substantial. But how do we make that classification?

  • Low risk – This means the likelihood of a fire starting and spreading is minimal due to the absence of flammable materials or ignition sources, and the materials used in construction are non-combustible or fire-resistant.
  • Medium risk – This means in the event of a fire, the spread of smoke and flame would be slow, and the alert system would be quick, meaning evacuation and extinguishment causes less risk to the occupants of the building.
  • Substantial risk – This means the presence of flammable materials within the building and the construction of the premises is deemed that in the event of a fire, the spread and containment would cause a high risk to the occupants of the building. Please read below to understand more about substantial risk.

For each of the risk ratings, it is important that you are fully aware of how you can help in keeping yourself and your neighbours safe and minimising risk within the building.

Buildings are rated in three categories when a Risk Assessment is completed. This takes into consideration numerous factors within the building and ranks the building from low to substantial.

If your building is rated substantial, this does not mean that a fire is likely to happen; only that the risk is higher within the building, and you need to do all you can to understand how you can help keep yourself and your neighbours safe.

We have provided a document within your letter which details how you can help keep yourself and your neighbours safe from fire.

Fire risk assessments are conducted every year or every two or three years, dependent on the type of property you live in. As your letter has been sent after a new FRA has been done, dates of works completion can cross over. If you’d like to query whether these works have been completed, please contact customer service.

Alarm Receiving Centre – Otherwise known as an ARC, the alarm receiving centre triggers an alert to the local fire brigade in the event of a fire.

AOV (automatic opening vent) – An AOV system is a control system designed to vent air or smoke for use in natural & smoke ventilation.

Emergency lighting – Back-up lighting source that typically operates in the event of a power outage where the mains power supply is lost and normal electrical lighting fails.

Fire alarm system – A building system designed to detect, alert occupants, and alert emergency services of the presence of fire.

Fire curtains – A device designed to halt the spread of fire and smoke in a building. It’s made from heat-resistant materials. These curtains are engineered to descend automatically in response to a fire alarm signal, creating a fire-resistant barrier.

Fire dampers – Fire dampers are passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts to prevent and isolate the spread of fire inside the ductwork through fire-resistance rated walls and floors.

Firefighting equipment – Tools that the fire brigade uses to help deal with fires within the building.

Part 6 (domestic) communal detection – This new standard holds landlords to account for ensuring that your building has the correct type of fire alarm system to deal with in the event of a fire.

Sprinklers – A fire sprinkler system discharges water when the effects of a fire have been detected, such as when a temperature has been exceeded within the building.

  • Buildings over 11 meters, communal fire doors will be inspected quarterly and flat entrance doors annually.
  • Buildings under 11 meters will be inspected by building safety inspectors dependent on the level of risk within the building, therefore, timeframes can differ.
  • During the FRA all communal doors will be inspected within the building, along with a sample of flat entrance doors throughout the building.

In all high-rise buildings, building control is now managed by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

To keep you and your neighbours safe you may need to notify the BSR if you are making any changes to the entrance door of your flat.

For more information and to find out if you need to make an application please visit the Government website following this link.