Fire extinguisher maintenance

R3alEstate

Frequent Poster
Messages
56
Hi,

I'm writing on behalf of a friend which lives in an apartment block where the fire extinguishers were due for maintenance in November.

They are still waiting and she is impatient now because she is worried that if something happens the insurance company won't cover in case of fire damage.

She is thinking to contact the fire fighters directly but I told her to wait because she could end up in trouble with her management company.

Do you think I gave her a good advice or is she right? I don't want to be cause of problems for her.
If you think I'm right what would be the right thing to do?

Thanks,

Katrina
 

SimpleWorried

Registered User
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11
Hi Katrina,
I would switch my thinking about "getting in trouble with the management company". The management company should be worried about being in trouble with your friend. If she is paying her management fee she is entitled to a correct service.

I gather she has engaged with the management company as much as possible and is getting nowhere. If so I would see no issues with her contacting the fire extinguisher company directly.
As this is a health and safety issue it needs to be addressed, so I would even go as far to say she should contact the management company one last time and if they are not putting a satisfactory plan in place your friend should then contact her local fire station and inform them of the situation.
 

R3alEstate

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56
While I understand that my advice wasn't really good and I'll tell my friend to go ahead with his idea, I don't understand what does it mean "Unless she's prepared to pay for the service herself".

Do you mean that if she calls the company they'll ask her the money?

In any case if calling the fire station is in her rights I'll tell her.

Thanks for all your help

Katrina
 

R3alEstate

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56
I forgot to add that they argued that even if the year lapsed in November a small delay is not a big deal... what they consider as "small" nobody knows!
 

PaddyBloggit

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3,348
Do you mean that if she calls the company they'll ask her the money?
If she takes it on herself to order a service of fire extinguishers, there's a good chance she'll be billed for it. Especially as she's not acting on behalf of the management company.
 

paper-folder

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Messages
51
If your friend is worried about the fire extinguishers, get her to have a look at the pressure indicator on them: it will be in the green segment if there is sufficient pressure, but in the red if the pressure is too much or if it has been emptied. The 'service' that fire extinguishers get is to check the pressure and to replace 33% of them with fresh ones on a rolling basis.

I would be more concerned to check that the fire alarm system had been serviced. A fire alarm will give people time to escape and is the first line of defence. A fire extinguisher is only useful if someone is aware of the fire, decides to use the extinguisher and is able to use it correctly. If the fire alarm control panel is visible, there should be a service cert. or label with it to check. The panel itself should indicate if there are faults on the system; amber or red lights are usually a bad sign, while green ones indicate that everything is in order. The panel will often have a text display as well.
 

R3alEstate

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56
HI paper-folder thanks a lot.

I've just asked my friend, she says that there is no service cert on the alarm control panel but all the lights are green and she remember it being serviced 2 or 3 months ago. The main reason she is worried about the fire extinguishers is that she thinks if something happens the insurance company would deny the claim on the basis that the fire extinguishers were not serviced.

Thanks again for all the explanations
 

Leo

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10,245
Keep in mind as well that if she does report shortcomings in fire safety, one possible outcome is the development is declared unsafe and evacuated. Unlikely for fire extinguishers being a month behind on certification though.

You friend should go to the next AGM and raise these concerns and look for assurances all terms of the block insurance are being complied with.
 

R3alEstate

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56
That's why I told her to not say anything to the fire fighters... it's a tricky situation. Apparently it's a mistery when the AGM will be held! I'm looking myself to understand how she could find out but couldn't find an answer online.
 

R3alEstate

Frequent Poster
Messages
56
Hi,

when the management agent and directors ignore a member of an OMC, what's the formal way to communicate with them?

I'm asking this because my friend is scared that in case of fire the insurance would deny her claim considering the fire extinguishers are not serviced. She thinks that if she complains officially about it then she can sue the directors in case of issues with the insurance company.

Thank you for your help,

Katrina
 

elcato

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3,163
Hi Katrina - I see you are as optimistic as ever. Unlikely that being out a month or two will make anything null and void. I presume your friend is a member an d not renting and she means the block insurance and not actual apartment insurance ? As Leo stated your friend needs to go the the AGM and raise concerns there.
 

SimpleWorried

Registered User
Messages
11
Hi Katrina,
I would advise that your friend write a letter to the management company and get it delivered by registered post. I would ask them to clarify what 'small delay" in servicing is acceptable and ask for confirmation from the insurance company that they agree to this small delay.
I would forget about ever suing the directors, that wouldn't get you anywhere. A better approach would be to get elected as a director and work on fixing the issues raised; "Be part of the solution, not part of the problem."
 
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R3alEstate

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56
Hi SimpleWorried, with sending a registered post to the management company, do you mean to send it to the OMC official address? What to do if they, as always, don't reply?

My friend is not comfortable in becoming a director because she doesn't know how to do it. It's also interesting that when the agent sends out the AGM invite there is a form to nominate a director but that has to be returned a week in advance of the meeting: how can she know who to nominate! It's just a fraud, always the same people (the developers) remain in there as directors.

Why suing directors is not an option? If something happens nobody pays? Just my friend?
 
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Leo

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It's also interesting that when the agent sends out the AGM invite there is a form to nominate a director but that has to be returned a week in advance of the meeting: how can she know who to nominate!
You can nominate yourself, or anyone else you know who is a member. This isn't a restricted ballot, the vote will take place during the AGM.
 

elcato

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3,163
I'm pretty sure the form is a proxy nomination. To let them know that you are sending someone else to the meeting to act on your behalf.
 

R3alEstate

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Hi elcato, no she showed me 2, one is the one you are saying and the other one has to be returned a week in advance
 

Threadser

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229
It is true that by law Director Nomination forms have to be sent in advance of an AGM. If the Developers are still the Directors then residents need to organise themselves. Most people (myself included) know very little about being a Director of a Management Company. However myself and my some of my neighbours organised a residents committee, read up about taking the company in charge and were elected at the AGM. It is an unpaid and thankless job but it has ensured that the company is being run according to the needs of residents. Your friend needs to get to know her neighbours and work together to sort this. No one can do it for them but themselves.
 
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