Calls for a national register of people responsible for the fire safety in flats and apartment blocks have been backed by Weymouth-based company.

Managing director of BNS Property Management, Andrew Simmonds, said if introduced the register would list all individuals with legal responsibility for fire safety on a national database. The details would be prominently displayed in buildings to allow residents to raise any concerns about fire safety.

The responsible person would sign a formal acknowledgement of duty of care and meet a mandatory minimum level of competence.

The campaign has been organised by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), organisers of Fire Door Safety Week which ran from September 25 until October 1.

Mr Simmonds said: “The devastating fire at Grenfell Tower has focused attention on safety in flats and apartment blocks as never before.

“The national register would ensure complete clarity as to who is responsible for the fire safety in the building and ensure they were clear about their role – which hasn’t always been the case.”

Responsible persons would ensure that a regular fire risk assessment is carried out, examining all aspects of fire safety management, including active and passive fire protection measures, signage, means of escape and the specific fire plan procedures.

Their responsibilities would also include acting on improvement advice and creating the emergency fire plan for the building, the key to this is arming the occupants with the knowledge of what to do in an emergency.

Martin Harrison-Bond, health and safety advisor at BNS Property Management, said fire safety was "paramount".

“Each block has its own management company whether it is rented accommodation or owner occupied – and they are responsible for fire safety of the building. Our job is to make sure the management companies are fully compliant with their responsibilities and aware of their liability," he said.

“We manage more than 300 sites across the South West and we have come across examples where the doors have contained the fire and prevented it spreading to neighbouring apartments.

“One of the most frequent mistakes we come across is where the fire doors have been propped open. We have also found fire doors which have had letterboxes cut in to them – which prevents them doing the job they were designed for.

“Sometimes the automatic closing mechanism is damaged – and we have also come across people painting over the door seals – which stops them sealing properly.

“But if properly kept they do work and provide a vital component towards the safety of the building.”

BNS Property Management’s portfolio ranges from converted Georgian buildings to new-build housing estates and multi-use complexes.

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