Fire season is upon us.
The messages about fire prevention and safety are everywhere.
We all know the risks and the rules.
But many people who live in apartment buildings or strata buildings or those who reside in metro areas may think the warnings don’t apply to them.
“There are never any bushfires where I live.”
“I live in an apartment – why do I need to be fire safe?”
Shaun Penwarden is the Managing Director of MetroFire Services and he says those who reside in metro areas need to be just as informed as those who live in bushfire prone regions.
“One thing we often see is that owners are not aware of the fire measures within their property.”
He is trying to raise awareness through his business to ensure the safety of not only lives, but assets within your home.
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“Most properties are required to supply a Fire Safety Statement annually to council, but there are older buildings that are not aware of their responsibilities.”
He said unit blocks that are three levels and over will often have fire doors and fire rated ceilings or other measures that go unchecked for years.
“Without regular inspections and maintenance, improper modifications or damage could be made to fire measures jeopardising the ability for measures to work properly in a fire situation.”
The last thing you want is to be stuck in a burning building with no escape.
There are a number of potential hazards that occur in unit blocks that Mr Penwarden said needed to be checked and maintained regularly.
“Changes that appear minor can be hugely detrimental, things like deadbolts or security chains on fire doors that prevent the door from closing and latching in a fire or downlights and exhaust fans installed in fire rated ceilings that allow a fire to pass from the affected unit into the shared ceiling space.”
Mr Penwarden recommended that all building owners engage a competent Fire Safety Practitioner who can assess their property and identify what measures are installed and what maintenance these items require.