Hochiki Europe recently partnered with the FIA (Fire Industry Association) to host a roundtable discussing best practice when it comes to life safety in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).
Panellists were made up of professionals involved throughout the life safety procurement chain, including representatives from the manufacturing, facilities management, consultancy/specification and installation sectors, as well as the FIA itself.
Participants comprised: Ian Watts, Emergency Lighting Manager, Hochiki Europe; Richard Wharram, Regional Sales Manager, Hochiki Europe; Will Lloyd, Technical Manager, FIA David Thewlis, Director, Rosse Systems and Neil Wright, an Independent Electrical Engineer. The event followed the release of Hochiki Europe’s recent whitepaper outlining several grey areas regarding different systems being installed in HMOs.
During the session, held at the FIA’s training centre in London, panellists debated having exclusive Part 1 or Part 6 systems within HMOs, or the benefits of having mixed systems in place. The discussion also focused on perceived confusion around the definition of an ‘HMO’, as well as specific challenges for duty holders and best practice when selecting emergency lighting in these types of buildings.
Paul Adams, Marketing Manager, Hochiki Europe, chaired the panel. He commented: “This was a necessary and worthwhile discussion which brought up some urgent issues for all parties that must be addressed if we are to protect people living in HMOs. The general consensus around the table was that education and upskilling engineers is paramount.
“The life safety sector has so many different requirements for different buildings, depending on their intended purpose but it has become clear that there is a severe lack of clarity within the industry over best practice. The guidance and support is out there, we just need to show people where to get it and why it is so vitally important.”