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Fire resistance of ductwork – do you know your legal liabilities?

A firefighter battling a blaze. The Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services outlines your responsibilities when it comes to the fire resistance of ductwork

The Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services outlines your responsibilities when it comes to the fire resistance of ductwork

DO YOU know your responsibilities when it comes to the fire resistance of ductwork?

The Association of Ductwork Contractors has outlined people’s responsibilities with regard to the subject in FETA magazine – The voice of the HVACR industry.

Legal obligation

The article explains that it is no longer simply a duty of care to ensure the materials chosen and the contractor who is installing them can both prove competency in fire resistance. It is now your legal obligation under sections 5.3 and 5.4 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (similar provisions also exist in equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland). The same applies if you are the contractor – you are legally required to ensure the materials you are installing are adequate for the job.

The article continues: “Fire safety in buildings is under the microscope at the moment and it is vital that we all remain aware of our legal liabilities. In the event of a fire, and any consequent fatalities, a court will want to know every detail of the fire protection system’s design and specification.

“Fire kills around 300 people and damage claims exceed £1billion every year in the UK, so there can be no justification for pleading ignorance or taking shortcuts. If you knowingly ignore advice that leads to a failure in the fire performance of any element of installed fire protection within a building, then you are likely to be found to be just as culpable as the deficient installer.”