Subject to the findings of a fire risk assessment, purpose-built blocks of flats, or flats converted in accordance with Building Regulations 1991 or later, should provide a similar level of fire protection as would be expected in a house.
Where this is the case, a fire should be contained within the flat of origin and evacuation of other flats need only be necessary if:
- Other residents feel threatened by the fire and wish to evacuate; or
- If required to do so by the emergency services.
Most purpose-built premises are unlikely to require a communal fire warning system.
A ‘stay put’ strategy will not be suitable where the degree of fire separation between flats does not meet the required standards. Where this is the case, the premises will require a robust evacuation strategy that is understood by all residents and made clear to visitors by the use of appropriate signs.
The fire risk assessment should identify the most appropriate strategy for the building, which can then be adopted by the responsible person.
The evacuation strategy is determined by the responsible person, as defined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, not by the Fire and Rescue Service.