Fire Safety in a Commercial Property


After the devastating incident at Grenfell Tower, it’s come to light that a number of properties do not contain sufficient fire-safety systems to protect their inhabitants in the event of a fire. While the emphasis is on saving lives in a domestic setting, industrial and commercial property should not be overlooked.

Fire safety in non-domestic premises is the responsibility of landlords, owners, employers, occupiers and site managers. If you hold one of these positions you are known as a “responsible person”, and must work together to ensure security of everyone on the premises. This includes any site with public access, any workplace, and any communal area of a multi-occupied residence.

Responsible persons are obliged to:

• Conduct regular fire risk assessments of the property
• Inform staff about identified risks
• Install and maintain suitable fire safety measures, including emergency plans
• Train and inform staff about steps to take in the event of a fire

Any commercial building must contain an evacuation plan, demonstrating unobstructed escape routes and sufficient exits for the number of people exiting the building. Consider the steps required to assist those with limited mobility, such as the infirm, elderly, disabled and children – ensure staff or residents understand how they can evacuate these people in an emergency.

The appropriate installations for properties will vary depending on construction and use. A review of installations for all buildings should be undertaken periodically, or when any changes are made to a building. At Tim Greenwood & Associates, we offer a range of property compliance surveys to help you ensure your building meets the property safety regulations.

Following on from the Grenfell Tower fire, the RICS has set up a panel of industry professionals who have recently met and agreed their terms. The panel will review the comments and concerns made by industry professionals and report back to industry groups and the UK Government so the feedback and the recommendations that come from it are awaited.

If you are found to have unmanaged fire risks on your property, you may be given an informal or formal notice to amend your safety procedures or make alterations to the observed risks; failing to do so may result in fines or a custodial sentence.

For more information, visit the Government information page, or contact your local fire safety department.

Millpond (Carshalton) Management Company Ltd

We are pleased to announce our appointment to act on behalf of the Freehold Company of this residential development in relation to a building dispute with a large south-east based developer. Our instructions include the analysis of inherent building defects, the preparation of specifications in relation to remedial works required, and overseeing the remedy of these construction faults by the original developer. It includes the dismantling of brickwork cavity walls and parapets, and the introduction of new cavity trays, damp courses, leadwork and cloaks around window, balcony and rainwater outlets.

Prestigious Belgravia Development

We are pleased to announce invitation to tender for a broad package of consultancy services in relation to the extension and refurbishment of a prestigious Belgravia Mews House, the work to include excavation of additional basement accommodation, addition of further floor, and full internal refurbishment including major structural alterations. The scope of our services will include preparation and submission of Planning Applications, with all supporting drawings and documentation, Building Control Approval, Party Wall matters, specification, tendering and contract administration of all works. As part of our appointment we will be employing a range of specialist consultants including structural, mechanical, electrical, geo-technical basement engineers and arboculturalists.

We look forward to working with our new client on this and a number of other high-value residential developments in Central London.

Construction Dispute

We are pleased to announce our appointment on behalf of a south-east based development company in relation to a dispute relating to the quality of work to a prestigious detached residential property, and in particular in relation to faults to the external roof frame and fabric. Our report was to identify any faults in the quality of work and materials supplied, and the scope of remedial work required, when judged against relevant codes of practice, British Standards and Good Practice Guides.

Appointment as Building Surveyors for Princes Gate Court, London

We are pleased to confirm our appointment by Princes Gate Court Residents Ltd to act as Building Surveyors in relation to a wide variety of building surveying services at this prime central London block, including preparation of planned preventative maintenance programmes, implementation of internal and external refurbishment projects, acting as landlord’s surveyor in relation to approval of lessees’ applications for Licences for Alteration, preparation and submission of Planning Applications in relation to a number of matters, including installation of new external railings and gates, in addition to managing general repairs and refurbishment matters arising at the building. In 2014 we will be undertaking the next cycle of external repair and redecoration programme to the block, including the cleaning and repair of external brickwork and stonework, refurbishment of existing timber sash windows, stripping out existing roof coverings to dormer windows, and renewal of coverings in traditional lead work to renewal of valley gutters to the perimeter of the roof, installation of new lightning conductor system, in addition to opening up roof voids and stripping out of redundant cold water storage tanks and pipework to a number of roof voids. Removal of these redundant services follows the successful completion of a 4 year programme to decentralise the hot and cold water and heating services with the installation of independent systems to each apartment, including new boilers, pipework and radiators. For further information please contact Tim Greenwood (timgreenwood@tg-a.co.uk, tel: 01293 804671).

New Working Partnership with ‘1508 London’

  • We are pleased to announce that we are in the process of creating a working partnership with highly regarded London interior designers and architects, 1508 London, with a view to managing all future submissions for Landlord’s Approval in relation to refurbishment or redevelopment projects designed by 1508 London, as well as Project Management and Contract Administration in relation to high-value residential developments throughout London and the south-east. 1508 London were formed in 2009 and in a short period have established themselves as one of London’s premier interior design and architectural firms, with projects not only in the UK, but around the world. The creation of this working partnership is a huge step forward in the development of Tim Greenwood & Associates, and an opportunity that we feel reflects our strengths and long-established track record in relation to working on occupied residential blocks, in a wide variety of roles, whilst managing high-value residential refurbishments on behalf of a number of private clients. For more information about 1508 London, please visit their website. For further information please contact Tim Greenwood (timgreenwood@tg-a.co.uk, tel: 01293 804671).

Instruction to provide Technical Advice

  • Tim Greenwood & Associates are pleased to announce their appointment by Rivermead Court Ltd to provide technical advice, in conjunction with the existing residential property managers and the mechanical consultants in relation to the planned renewal of mechanical services to 214 apartments in this prestigious river-front residential block. Our initial role has included inspection of the block, and review of a number of options available in relation to the maintenance of the existing communal services, or installation of independent services to each apartment and, following successful presentation to the body of residents in October 2013, further consultations are under way with residents in relation to timing, implementation and budgets.  For further information please contact Tim Greenwood (timgreenwood@tg-a.co.uk, tel: 01293 804671).

Appointment as Retained Surveyors

  • Tim Greenwood & Associates are pleased to announce their appointment by Albert Court (Westminster) Management Company Ltd, as retained Surveyors acting on a wide range of issues, including but not limited to, preparation and implementation of planned maintenance and refurbishment works, including internal and external works, re-roofing, structural repairs and internal service renewals; approval of lessees’ proposals for refurbishment of apartments, preparation and submission of Planning Applications in respect to a number of matters including external railings, rooftop plant accommodation and the like, acting as Expert Witness in relation to legal matters arising within the block, and Lead Consultant in relation to master planning future development of the basement accommodation, totalling some 15,500 sq ft, to include residential, leisure and other uses ancillary to the residential use of the block. This appointment follows a period of 15 years during which Tim Greenwood has advised the residents’ Council of Management on a range of issues, including acting as Lead Consultant, Project Manager and Contract Administrator in relation to fire restoration works following a major fire in 2007 which resulted in the loss of some 15 apartments. In addition Tim has managed the construction of 6 no. penthouses on the roof of this prestigious central London residential block. For further information please contact Tim Greenwood (timgreenwood@tg-a.co.uk, tel: 01293 804671).

Sub-basement Development

We are pleased to announce our appointment on behalf of Albert Court (Westminster) Management Company Ltd to act as Landlord’s Surveyors in relation to the development of sub-basement accommodation to provide office and storage use, in addition to kitchen and dining room facilities which are presently operated on a charitable basis by a long-standing leaseholder within the block, servicing Jewish students of the Imperial College.

The works themselves include structural alterations to load-bearing masonry walls and foundations; underpinning, and excavation of ground levels to improve storey heights as well as internal fit-out works. This instruction follows on from earlier successful instructions in relation to the design and configuration of the new uses within the basement accommodation, and preparation, submission and management of Planning and Listed Building submissions to Westminster City Council. Overall negotiations and the approval process with the Planning Authority required some 2 years to complete. For further information please contact Tim Greenwood (timgreenwood@tg-a.co.uk, tel: 01293 804671).

Structural Alterations/Refurbishment Work at Princes Gate Court

  • Tim Greenwood & Associates are pleased to announce our appointment on behalf of Princes Gate Court Residents Ltd to act as Landlord’s Surveyor in relation to the structural alterations and refurbishment of 3 residential apartments to form 1 single residence of approximately 3,500 sq ft over 3 floors, including an extension into the roof space, in addition to approving the structural, mechanical and electrical works, and overseeing the construction process. We are involved in negotiating lease terms in relation to space outside the demise, reviewing planning submissions to the Local Authority and appointing further specialists on behalf of the landlord in relation to structural and mechanical service issues. For further information please contact Tim Greenwood (timgreenwood@tg-a.co.uk, tel: 01293 804671).