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Fire Alarms and Fire doors

(5 Posts)
Zalen Tue 18-Nov-14 12:16:00


I wonder if I can get some advice please. I've just had a phone call from my son who is a student living in a shared house. Last weekend they had an issue where one of his housemates put some toast on and then left the kitchen. The toast became jammed and before they knew what was happening the kitchen was filled with smoke.

They realised the problem before any damage was caused but contacted the estate agent who deals with the property as they are supposed to go throught them and not contact the landlord directly. They were concerned that since the fire alarm is in the hall, two firedoors away from the kitchen in the event of a fire two rooms would be ablaze before any alarm went off.

The estate agent has come back saying that the fire alarms are properly placed and that if there had actually been any damage the housemates would be considered negligent for having left the toaster unattended.

This sounds wrong to me but I was hoping to get some further information for my son before he replies to their email.

Is it right that they don't have a fire alarm in the kitchen or at least immediately outside it?

Can they really be considered negligent if a piece of kitchen equipment supplied by the landlord doesn't perform as it should and causes a fire?

On a related note he tells me that there is actually a 1.5 inch gap under the fire door on one of the bedrooms, can a door actually qualify as a firedoor with such a large gap beneath it?

Sorry it's so long.

Any help gratefully received.

specialsubject Tue 18-Nov-14 13:22:03

this wasn't a bad toaster, it was a gormless student. Putting toast on and wandering off isn't terribly smart.

but that said - if this is an HMO (and it sounds like it) there are rules about fire alarms, firedoors etc. That door certainly doesn't sound right.

the actual rules are area and property size dependent, so have a chat with the local council or the university housing office.

HeartHasShattered Tue 18-Nov-14 13:25:11

The door is probably wrong, but there isn't a need for a fire alarm in or around the kitchen as long as the property has adequate fire alarms.

They would have been liable had there been a fire, you don't leave cooking unattended.

Zalen Tue 18-Nov-14 14:13:04

Thanks, I've been leaving cooking unattended for years, but then I've always said I was a bad parent.

I did a little googling myself and realised that, stupid as it seems to me the smoke alarms are properly situated according to the regulations. I suspect my ideas of house design have been overly influenced by Sims grin.

He's going to contact the university housing office so I'm sure they'll put him on the right track.

Thank you for your time in replying.

specialsubject Tue 18-Nov-14 16:11:44

also guessing that you probably clean your toaster a little more often than they do...

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