Hochiki Europe, the manufacturer of life safety solutions, has partnered with the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to host an in-depth discussion on 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.
The participants were 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 independent electrical engineer Neil Wright. The event followed on from the release of Hochiki Europe’s most recent White Paper outlining several grey areas regarding different systems being installed in HMOs.
During the discussion session, which was held at the FIA’s Training Centre in Hampton, London, panellists debated having exclusive Part 1 or Part 6 systems within HMOs and 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 at Hochiki Europe, chaired the pane discussion. Adams 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.”
Adams concluded: “The life safety sector has so many different requirements for different buildings, depending on their intended purpose, but it has become clear that there’s a severe lack of clarity within the industry when it comes to Best Practice. The guidance and support is out there. We just need to show people where to access it and why it’s so vitally important.”