Decorating Etiquette for Your Office

The holidays are right around the corner, which means it is time to think about the seasonal decorations that you will use in your public places. Oftentimes, this results in a war over what is and what is not appropriate. Most people spend half of their waking hours at work; so it is no wonder that they want their workplace livened up with holiday and seasonal decorations.

Differing Opinions

The issues that arise when choosing holiday decorations is often due to the differing opinions of appropriate holiday decorations and which holiday is decorated for and celebrated. Most people have chosen an all-in mentality where Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa decorations are used throughout the office. Using this tactic can help foster camaraderie amongst co-workers. However, if it is not handled properly, it can lead to a battle over personal expressions and the rights of those who do not celebrate the holiday, which can lead to an all-out war amongst your employees. One way to counteract these problems is to establish a written policy based on safety issues and the cultural makeup of your employees and customers.

Many organisations post rules that clearly state what is acceptable and what is not acceptable based on safety regulations. For example, HL Decorating Contractors recommend companies to require all decorations be flame retardant. It may further state that lights must be rated for indoor usage and no candles can be lit. Exits and walkways should be free of decorations that can impede the flow of traffic into and out of the business. These regulations are straightforward and simple. The harder things to navigate are the decorations around an employee’s workspace like the holiday music that is played, if scented pinecones can be placed in the area or blinking lights can be hung. Although these items may make an individual happy, they can infringe on their neighbouring employees’ rights for a number of reasons.

Holiday Decoration Policies Around the Country

The International Facilities Management Association took a survey in 2006 asking about their member’s holiday decorating policies across the country. Ninety-four per cent of all respondents stated that employees were allowed to decorate their offices for the holidays. Decorating for Christmas was the largest percentage of decorating choices with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa following. Twenty-five per cent of those surveyed reported that problems arose concerning decorations. Eighty-five per cent of the complaints filed led to changes in the company’s policies. The most common reasons for holiday decor policy changes were due to safety issues, damage to the facilities and excess holiday decorating. Some survey respondents stated that they held contests for the best displays across several different categories, including the funnies and the prettiest to help boost employee morale. However, ultimately, everyone in the office will not be satisfied with your decisions because some people believe that more is better when it comes to decorating for the holidays and others believe no holiday displays are appropriate because of the implied religious subtexts.

Consensus agrees that employees who wish to decorate their personal spaces should do so on their own time either before or after work or during their lunch break. Furthermore, the decorations should not impose on their neighbouring employees in any way. Religious symbols like nativities should be unobtrusive and small to prevent offending neighbouring employees. Common decorations like snowmen, Santas and garland are typically more acceptable because they represent the commercialised aspects of the holiday season.

Finally, public spaces of the office should be decorated while embracing the company’s business. For example, a toy company or store should have elaborate displays using their toys while a banking firm should take a conservative approach to holiday decorations. When it comes to decorating rules, they should be based on the interaction of clients and customers as well as employees. Although decorating for the holidays is fun, it should not impede the safety of your employees and customers, the professional image of your business or the ability to work.

Make Your Home Amazing

Are you wanting to get a fresh start in your new home? You do not need to feel like you are overwhelmed! Here are some great tips that will make it easier for you to find the best way to decorate your home without feeling overwhelmed. You will notice that these little tips will make it easier for you to find the way to decorate your house a breeze.

1. You Need To Figure Out The Style You Want

Once you figure out the design you want to have in the inside of the home you are most of the way there. You will want to see that the rule of thumb is to use the same type of style for the inside to the outside. You will find that some of the homes will look better as a ranch, but others are going to like the clean-lined looks that have the earth tones.

Since that is the case, here are some of the most popular styles for you to pick from.


This is a style that will go along mainly with the architectural styles. This is going to have a hybrid and traditional look that is going to be perfect for updating the older homes that you have or even putting a new look to a new construction. You will find this style tends to rely more on the darker woods, stone, and colors that are neutral, but supported with the reds, olive greens, and the sages.


The modern look will have the clean and well-defined lines that so many people have seen. When you look at the modern style you will notice that it has a softer feel with earth tones and wood as the basis. You will find that the furniture tends to rely more on the modern sofas and other elements. You will notice this style is perfect for the Art Deco period, a ranch house, or even a house that is constructed after 1950.  You also need to ensure your windows and doors match the modern look  and feel you are after.  Making an investment from a company such as KJM Group would accentuate your home.


This is a design that is going to be sparse and contain more of the minimal list type of life. You will notice the furniture is almost completely missing in this home. The colours you are going to consider will typically be more along the black lines paired with a grey or white. Often you will find that wood is completely missing in this style of home as glass and metal is used quite a bit. You will notice that this is a style that will work better in a smaller space that is going to highlight the natural lighting.


Joanna Gaines is one that has made this style very popular. This is a style that will allow the home to have a comfortable, but welcoming feel to it. This is one that will allow you to have a great design if you are looking for one that is going to be cosy to guest and welcoming at the same time. You will notice the sofas generally will have a slip over them but also are going to be stuffed full. The tables that are in this style tend to be wood and are going to be a casual look to them. The colours that are used here will typically allow you to have more of an antique type of feel to it.

2. Develop A Plan, Based On The Rooms

You will want to make sure you have a list in place on which room you want to decorate first and do one at a time! This is going to allow you to have the best results, but if you want to decorate more than one at a time, then you should do at most 3 rooms.

You will find that a common myth is having to get all the rooms matching. This is a myth and one that you will be able to dispel with your decorations! You will notice that if you use multiple styles in a home it will get more personality. You just need to make sure you have one item that is going to keep the rooms flowing properly.

3. Find The Biggest Furniture Item In The Room First

You will notice that the biggest piece of furniture is the important piece and easily the most expensive. Since that is the case, you should pick it out first and go from there. If you are doing the dining room, then pick out a new dining room table. If the living room is the target room, then find a great sofa. If the bedroom is being worked on, then obviously you need to consider the bed.

4. Paint Is a Powerful Quick Fix

If you want to have a quick and easy way to change a room, then you will want to get some paint. When you are getting the paint you will notice that you can have different colours in each room. You will want to be brave when you are picking this out and find a great colour that you can use. If you even use a neutral color it will have a lot more impact than the boring white colour. What is really nice about paint is if you do not like it, it is very easy for you to repaint.

You will find that starting from scratch is very easy when you are decorating your home, but you will need to prioritise the rooms and get started. Then you will find it is very easy to start to get the home changed around!

Learn 4 Factors Involved in Decorating Your Home From Scratch

Are you starting a fresh life by moving your family into a new home? There’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Keep reading to learn 4 tips for decorating your new home when you have a chance to do everything from scratch. You’ll soon discover that it’s a lot easier than you might think to decorate your home. It might even prove fun!

1) Decide On a Decorating Style

When you’re able to establish what particular design style you’d like for the interior of your home, then you’re halfway done! One good suggestion to start with is using a similar style for both the exterior and interior of your home. If your home’s architectural style is craftsman or ranch, then using earth tones in abundance will pair well with clean-lined furniture and rich, dark pieces of wood.

The following are four of the most common home decorating styles, according to KJM Group, you can consider as options:

The Transitional Style

The transitional style works with nearly all architectural styles that homes are built in. This look is a mix of traditional and modern styles, which is great for updating an older home type, such as Victorian or colonial. It can also be used to warm up something just constructed. Common elements of transitional home decorating include using stone and dark woods, along with neutral colours. Accent colours are typically earthy sages, reds, or olive greens.

The Modern Style

The modern style of decorating features clean lines and is generally well-tailored. Earth and wood tones provide a soft counterpoint to the straight lines. Sofas or elements of the mid-century style fit well here. Modern decor works best in Art Deco and ranch homes, as well as anything built in the 1950s or after.

The Contemporary Style

The contemporary style of design is minimalist, and easily the most sparse design style available. You don’t use many pieces in any room if you choose this. Grey, white, and black are the only real colour selections, with primary colours being the few accents used. Rather than wood, this style features glass and metals. If you’re decorating your home from scratch, then going with the contemporary style is smart for smaller spaces or when you want to emphasise the natural features of a home, such as architectural details or big and bright windows.

The Farmhouse Style

The farmhouse design style proves popular these days because of designers such as Joanna Gaines. The style can bring cosy yet fun comfort to a home, perhaps even with some whimsy. If you want to decorate your home from scratch in the farmhouse style, focus on elements or factors that are inviting, practical, and cosy. Slipcover sofas for easier maintenance, and overstuff them for comfort. Any tables should be wood so they’re casual and earthy. Accent pieces and colours alike need to have an antique or vintage store vibe to them.

2) Decorate Your New Home One Room at a Time

Prioritise the rooms which are most essential to you personally. Then, make your decorating plan starting with just two or three. Decorate each one by itself before moving on to the next room.

It’s a common misconception in design that every room in your home has to match. It’s your home, so do what you want. If that means a modern kitchen leading into a transitional living room before hitting a traditional bathroom, then do it! Your home can enjoy a lot more personality and life if you decorate each room from scratch before moving on to the next. Still, it’s a good idea to use some unifying element for flow between all the rooms. A particular colour can accomplish this, as could some decor item fitting the architectural style of the home.

3) Start With the Room’s Biggest Piece First

The biggest piece that any room has is typically going to be both the most expensive and the most important element. This is why it’s essential to start with this particular element before working your way out. For example, you would start your dining room with the dining table. In a living room, look first at your sectional or sofa. The bed would likewise take centre stage in a bedroom.

4) Be Best Friends With Paint

If you want a cheap and easy way to transform any blank canvas, then paint it! Consider what new colour you could paint each room. This isn’t the time for caution. Choose colours that are bold, rich, and vibrant. Even if you don’t want to get too wild, remember that a neutral shade like light grey or mocha can still have more impact than a normal white. It’s a low-risk thing to do because any paint colour you don’t care for can just be repainted over.

Now that you see just how simple an affair it can be to decorate your home from scratch, you can pick your style, prioritise the rooms and get going. You’ll have a new home that looks perfectly put together before you know it!

Ideas to Decorate the Home From Scratch

Are you getting ready to start fresh in a new house? Do you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed? Here are some great tips that will make it easier for you to decorate your home from scratch. You will notice that this is going to be a lot easier and quite a bit more fun than what you thought.

1. Make Sure You Know Your Style

If you are able to get a design style that you want to have in the house, then you will be halfway there. This is going to be an easy way for you to get the style that will be matched for the interior and exterior. This is going to allow you to find a great style that is going to vary from rich wood, to clean furniture, to even earth tones of the home.

Since that is the case, here are some great styles for you to think about:


This is going to have a style that will be matching most of the styles of the house. This is going to have a hybrid of modern and a traditional look, which is going to look for the colonial or even the Victorian style homes. This is going to have a style that will use neutral to earthy red colours but sometimes accented with olive greens and even the dark woods and stones.


This is going to be a style that will be decorated to have some great lines that are going to be clean and amazing. These tones are going to be softer and have more of the straight lines. This is going to be fitted out with the mid-century and modern sofas. These are going to fit perfectly in the homes that were going to be constructed mainly after the 1950s.


This is going to be a design that will have more of a minimalist type of design styles. You will find that you are going to have only a few pieces in each room. The colours are going to be mainly a black colour, with some grey or white as an accent. You will notice that metal and glass tends to be more the focal point than wood. You will notice the decoration on this tends to fit some of the best small spaces that are going to have some of the natural highlights that will bring along the features that the home is going to need to have.


This is a style that has really come into popularity with the rise of Joanna Gaines. This style is going to make the house have a cosy and comfortable feel, with some charm mixed in. You will want to make sure you look at this style if you are looking for a cosy and practical place that is going to be comfortable and welcoming. The sofas in this are often overstuffed and will have a cover to reduce the amount of maintenance. The tables have a tendency to be more of the earthy type of look to them. The colours that are being used will be more of a vintage or antique type of feel.

2. Check the Plan by the Room

You will want to make sure that when you are coming up with a decorating plan you will want to do it one at a time. You will want to make sure you have two or at the most three rooms maximum at a time to undertake.
You will want to realize that designing all of the rooms in the house is a myth. If you want to have a bedroom that is transitional, but a modern looking living room that is easy to do. You will have more personality for your house when you are doing this with one room at a time. You will just want to make sure that you have one element in all the rooms that are going to tie all the rooms together.

3. Start Off With the Big Room First

You will find that the biggest room in the home is the one that will be the most important but cost the most money as well. That is why you will want to start on it and work to the rest of the home slowly. If you are in the dining room, you may want to consider the table first. If the living room, then you may want to figure out the furniture first. The bedroom, the most important part is the bed.

4. Paint Is a Great Option

A great way to take the rooms in the home and make them look completely different is by giving it a fresh coat of paint! You will want to find a colour for each room and paint it that colour. This is going to be the time that gives you a chance to find a rich or bold colour to use. You will find that even a neutral mocha or a light grey can make a tremendous change. You will find that if you do not like it, it is easy to repaint!

You will find that decorating your home from scratch can be easy, but you need to decide on the style you are using and make sure you put a priority on the rooms you are working in. Then you will have a perfectly looking room that you are going to love in no time flat. If you are still unsure which style to go for, why not try visiting small showrooms to start off with. The KJM Group focus on the specific details of the home such as the windows and the doors which could be just the inspiration you need to figure out which style is best for your home.

Decorating Your Home From Scratch

Moving into a new home can be exciting, but it can also be pretty overwhelming, as well! Usually, you have lots of boxes scattered around the place, waiting to be unpacked.  But before you decorate you can put your boxes into storage at a company such as Blue Box Storage, allowing you the space to decorate.

Decorating a new house to make it feel a lot more like home can take plenty of effort but by following a few easy tips you’ll be able to make the change without stressing out. It doesn’t have to be hard – redecorating your new home can be easier than you think!

Tip #1: What’s Your Decorating Style?

Understanding your taste in design styles is a crucial first step towards getting the interior that you want. Generally speaking, you want an inside style that matches up with the outside style of your home, as well.

In other words, rustic wood insides don’t go well with ultra modern sleek outsides, and vice-versa. You want two styles that compliment one another.

Beyond this, you need to make sure that you are working with a decorating style that is something you like. While this will be a highly individual choice, here are four of the most popular choices to help you if you’re not sure where to start.

Transitional Style

This is a combination of traditional and modern styles, which might help to explain both why it is so popular and also why it works with so many different homes. This can work with most architectural home styles and is great for updating old styles while keeping the charm or bringing a warm homey touch to modern styles that might otherwise seem cold and distant.

Think dark wood, stone, neutral colours, dark earthy greens and reds, or other popular accent colours. Outstanding option for most people.

The Modern Style

The modern style of decorating really puts a focus on wood, earth tones, and has a reputation for feeling cleaner because of a focus on straight line setup. These are very popular with ranch homes or Art-Deco homes. A nice couch, beautiful focus, and clean setup makes it a winner.

Classic Contemporary Style

Among all the different design styles out there, classic is the sparsest and really embraces minimalist motifs. There are a few pieces in each room, but not many, drawing focus to the few areas of possessions you really want to highlight.

Generally, colours are mixed with black, white, or various greys with a bit of accent. Metal and glass triumph over the use of wood. This is a very popular option for very recently built homes as well as smaller spaces. Also, a winner if the home has big windows or interesting architectural structure you want to highlight.

The Farmhouse Style

This is a cosy fun style of interior decorating that has made a comeback because it is a bit different, embraces the country farm look, and can be practical, pretty, and adds a touch of whimsy especially when decorating an urban space.

Think big but practical. A large cosy sofa, simple wood tables easy to move or shift, while the interior decoration and colors should feature an older feel – maybe even antique store.

Tip #2: Go Room By Room

What rooms are the most important to you? Which are less so? Start with the most important rooms and plan them out that way if you run a bit short on decorations it doesn’t affect the most important parts of the house.

Going one room at a time will also prevent you from become overwhelmed since you can break down the redecorating to more manageable sections of work.

Also, don’t assume every room has to match. If you love an old farmhouse but prefer a modern or transitional bedroom, go for it! This is your home, after all!

Tip #3: Think Big, Start Big

Usually, the biggest piece of furniture in the room will be the hardest to work around, as well as the most important to overall design. So start with that and work your way around it from there. Dining room table for the dining room, couch for the living room, bed for the bedroom, etc.

Tip #4: Paint Is Good

You would be amazed how much a single coat of new paint in a new colour can really change or outright transform the interior. If in doubt, try a bit of paint in a different colour – it may turn out to be all you needed!

Decorating Your Home From Scratch: Don’t Get Overwhelmed!

Decorating doesn’t have to be a major chore. Think of this as an opportunity to change the inside of your home to make it truly reflect you and create a space that you can relax and recharge in. Whether moving into a new house or giving the old one a major overhaul, there are plenty of options for redecorating to get the look you want without getting stressed out or going crazy.

Step 1: Decide What’s Your Style

Different people have different styles and it is important to make sure to match your living space with one that you actually like. Are you a modern or contemporary sort of guy or gal? Prefer something rustic and old school? Deciding on your style will help make sure you find something that puts you in the right mind space.

A contemporary design is popular because it is minimalist. What does this mean? You only need a few main pieces, you don’t have to get complex with the colour scheme (white, black, and grey is fine). Modern furniture that is expensive but looks good with glass and metal are popular options and this is right up there with modern as a style known for being “clean.”

Modern designs focus on clean lines and have soft earth tones. Add in straight lines that create a very smooth and direct feel and it is easy to see why modern remains very popular as well.

Farmhouse is on the other side of the spectrum and looks at big, cozy, and comfy. The look should be inviting, a major focus on comfort and furniture is casual and functional above all else. Think bright colors, overstuffed chairs, simple wooden tables, a variety of colors, plenty of wall decorations (if so desired) and you understand what the farmhouse style is all about.

Then there’s transitional which is a mix of traditional and modern and focuses (especially on remodels) of keeping elements of old style, old charm, antique furniture and especially quality old architecture or personality while adding in modern functionality. Finding some key antique pieces or even restoring your old furniture by Abbey Group can make for an interesting look, this also works the other way with adding warmth and style to an overly cleansed modern look that just doesn’t have enough soul.

Step 2: Make A Room By Room Plan

Start with the big important rooms where you’ll spend the most time: your living room, your bedroom, your bathroom. These are rooms that tell a lot about you and you want to personalise them in a way that really reflects who you are.
By starting with the rooms you spend the most time in, and the ones that are most important, you can really prioritise your design plans to focus on the furniture, looks, and style you love most in the places where you will spend the most time.

Even among these most important rooms, you want to start with the largest room first and the largest design decisions in each. What furniture is going to be the focus in the room or rooms? The bed? The dining room table? The sofa or sectional? Starting with these as the room anchors and working outward is a great way to make sure you’re getting the full effect of the look or design you choose.

Step 3: Use The Power Of Paint

Anyone who has renovated, remodeled, or flipped houses for a living can tell you the power that a new fresh coat of paint can bring to your home. Don’t believe us? Try painting a room from white to a deep red, or a yellow to a blue, or a dark colour you don’t like to a pure white. The instant transformation is really obvious.

This is inexpensive compared to most renovation or decorating expenses and yet can have a powerful effect. The best part? If you’re not satisfied with the change you can just paint over it and try again!

If you follow these three relatively simple steps you will have no problem not only decorating your house but getting that perfect look that takes a house and makes it transform until it truly feels like your home.

Decorating Your Home From Scratch: A Quick Guide

Decorating the home is something many individuals dread, but it really shouldn’t be that daunting or intimidating. While there are some stresses that are going to come with any move, renovation, or redecoration effort, you can take a few simple steps to go into the project with eyes wide open and make it much easier on yourself (and anyone who was friendly enough to lend a helping hand!)

Abbey Group has put together a guide on how to decorate your home.

First, understand that this can be a fun process that is going to help you take a house, or other living space, and transform it into a home – your home. This is a place that should reflect who you are, what you enjoy, and be a place where you can relax, energise, or even both depending on your mood!

Once you have the right mindset, which will take care of a good chunk of the stress and potential frustration right off the bat, the next step is to decide on the style that suits you best. While there are literally dozens of different options out there, don’t let that overwhelm you. Most people find they actually prefer one of the four most popular styles out there, so that is a great place to start the decision-making process.

The most popular decorating styles are:

  • Contemporary
  • Modern (no, this is not the same as contemporary)
  • Transitional
  • Farmhouse


If you find you have a varied number of tastes, then you probably want to go with transitional style of design. This is a popular option because it is great for updating old Colonial or Victorian homes with modern features while keeping the features that bring that aged charm. On the other side, for people who find themselves buying a modern home but don’t like how cold and lifeless it feels, transitional brings those personal touches that can bring old school to a new home like smart use of red, green, and neutral colours, as well as smart use of dark wood and stone to bring some old cheer to a new design.


Then again, there are those who like to go with the full modern design. Think clean lines, a heavy emphasis on colours that are often described as “earthen” or “wooden” tones, and many homes that were created in the 1950s or based on similar designs.


If this still sounds too busy then go with a contemporary design. Think minimalist. Minimum furniture, minimum colours, light through open windows and plenty of space to pace, do yoga, or just stretch out.


Farmhouse is the absolute opposite of contemporary, it is busy, colourful, and will likely remind you of a traditional grandmother’s house or the type of home that antique shops drool over.

Once you have an idea of what plan is most likely to fit your personality, then that is the time to start putting together the plan. Don’t just try to wing it! Think about what rooms could use a new coat of paint before moving in the furniture. Concentrate on the biggest and most important rooms first so you can use that momentum to help move you through those smaller and less important rooms.

This gives you the benefit of enjoying your design choices even as the work is being done and further motivates you to finish.

As a side note: don’t buy into the myth that every single room must match in style. If you like a comfy and inviting living room but prefer your bedroom to act like a home office in pristine shape, you can design the living room around one style and the bedroom around another. This is actually quite common as many people want a room to relax, one to energise, and so on.

Design and plan accordingly!

Whether you just need to touch up the paint, re-do a single room, make some minor alterations, or go with the wholesale overhaul, you have options. By planning ahead, refusing to get bogged down, and pushing ahead with your plans, you should have no problem creating a home look that you can enjoy and be proud of.

Fire Safety With Regard to Commercial Properties

Fire safety issues have attracted everyone’s attention in light of the tragedies witnessed in London. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005, simply referred to as the Order, assigns responsibilities with regard to commercial properties. Below you will learn about the areas of contention around the Order during a transaction involving property, with their suggested solutions.

Who Bears the Fire Safety Duties?

The responsibilities/duties are assigned to the employer, in case of a place of work, or the person in control, where a business, trade or any other undertaking is carried on by them.

In the case of leasehold property, establishing who has control can be somewhat confusing. According to the guidelines provided by the government, this can be the tenant, landlord or both, especially if the tenant only takes up part of the property, or repair responsibilities are split between the two. Furthermore, landlords are considered to have taken back control, and are thus the responsible party, when they surrender or forfeit a lease.

Tenants are assigned responsibility for their specific units, while landlords or the management are deemed to be responsible for common areas in the case of shared properties such as shopping centres. For the purposes of the Order, tenants and landlords should be clear on who is responsible for what.

Specified Responsibilities

9th Regulation: Responsibility to carry out a risk assessment

1st Area of contention: The contents of a risk assessment are not clarified.

It is upon the responsible party to make what is termed as a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the risks affecting all relevant persons. This provision lacks clarity, as the responsible person, while considering the nature of the business, property and other related factors, is left to choose what they deem to be “suitable and sufficient”.

A possible tenant or buyer may expect to be furnished with a risk assessment report, resulting in unnecessary delays in case they are adamant on seeing one before agreeing to take the property, therefore, introducing challenges in such property transactions. The fact that most leases place all statutory compliance responsibilities on the tenant means that they may overlook this responsibility or simply have no idea how to fulfil it.

Suggested Solution

The following suggestions are in line with government guidelines, although there are no specific criteria with regard to a “suitable and sufficient” risk assessment.

  • Spot all fire hazards
  • Spot everyone who might be at risk
  •  Assess, eliminate or mitigate all risks
  • Write down all the findings, come up with an emergency plan and conduct training exercises
  • Keep the fire risk assessment current by reviewing it and making relevant updates
  • Since compliance is considered to be a personal responsibility, past assessments do not pass with the transfer of property. The new occupier/owner is responsible for the risk assessment after a property is transferred

Should the risk assessment fail, it is up to the liable party to amend the problem whether that means clearing fire exits or drawing up a new floor plan on floorplansusketch in order to make the building fire safety compliant.

2nd Area of contention: A new risk assessment is required after alterations are made to a property

Instead of using time frames to indicate the lapse of risk assessments, the Order mentions “triggers”. Making substantial alterations to the property is one of the included triggers.

Suggested Solution

Start by familiarizing yourself with the renewal risk assessment triggers. Find out whether any structural alterations made warrant a risk assessment review. Note that even the simplest of alterations, such as temporary partitions may warrant the existing risk assessment, as the current escape path may be no longer viable.

14th Regulation: Responsibility to ensure all escape routes are clear at all times, including the exits as well.

Area of contention: The escape path is located on property owned by a third party

If the current fire escape path is on property that is controlled or owned by a third party, it may be blocked or altered by the 3rd party if it isn’t well documented, making it unfeasible and leaving the responsible party in contravention of their duty.

Suggested Solution

You should properly document any right to use any 3rd party land. In most cases, however, the onus is placed on the tenant or buyer, by the landlord or seller, to come up with their own ideas about the property. Before committing to the property, the tenant or buyer should inspect the property and such escape routes, pointing them out to their legal representatives to negotiate for, and obtain the rights to use 3rd party property; otherwise an alternative route should be planned.

What You Should Know About Fire Safety in Commercial Properties

Fire safety has come to the attention of everyone, especially since the horrible events that have occurred in London. Within the Regulatory Reform Order 2005, there are relevant obligations that commercial properties have to meet. With that said, the rest of this article will discuss some of the most common problems that surround the Order and property transactions.

Who Do the Duties Apply To?

The responsible person is who the duties apply to. This can be either the employer or the person who manages or controls the property. This is in connection with them carrying out responsibilities involving taking care of the property.

However, it can be challenging to determine who controls the property when it comes to leased properties. Guidance suggests that both the tenant and landlord can bear responsibilities. Furthermore, if the lease is surrendered or forfeited by the landlord, then this means they are taking back control and this also means they are now the person responsible.

If the premise has common parts, then the management company is probably the one responsible for those parts. Tenants are typically responsible for the unit they reside in. This is why both tenants and landlords should determine who is responsible for the property.

Regulation 9: The Duty to Perform a Risk Assessment

Problem 1: It’s Not Clear What is Involved With a Risk Assessment

The person who is responsible has to carry out a risk assessment to which relevant people are exposed to. This can be challenging for people because the duty isn’t that descriptive, and the responsible person has to be the one to decide what is sufficient and suitable, given the nature of various factors, including the nature of the property and business. This can make things difficult for the purchaser or potential tenant because they will want to see the risk assessment. Consulting fire experts like TPT Fire can be extremely beneficial in these cases.

Failing to show a copy of a risk assessment to potential buyers and tenants can lead to delays. This is especially if they are persistent on seeing it, and many leases will insist that the tenant is responsible for compliance. This means they have to comply with relevant laws.

What Can You Do?

There are no criteria, but the government has laid out some guidelines such as: you should identify fire hazards and remove or reduce risks, identify people who are at risk and record all of your findings, as well as update fire risk assessments on a regular basis. Not only that but when the premise changes hands, the new owner or occupier will be the one responsible for addressing risk assessments.

Problem 2: Altering a Property to Avoid a Risk Assessment Review

There is no specific time frame to renew or replace a risk assessment. However, there are things that can trigger a review. One trigger is when there are material changes that are made to the premise.

Is There Anything You Can Do?

You can learn about the triggers for a review. Think about whether or not any alterations would have an effect on a risk assessment. For example, the proposed escape route might not be accessible if you decide to insert a partitioning that is de-mountable.

Regulation 14: Making Sure the Routes to Emergency Exists Are Clear

Potential Issue: The Escape Route Goes Onto Third-Party Land

If the emergency escape route goes over a property that isn’t owned by the owner of the premise, then the third party can block the route. They can also alter the route. This is why the route should be properly documented, but there is something you might be able to do.

As previously mentioned, you want to document everything. However, the seller tends to put the task onto the tenant or the purchaser, which means they try to have them be responsible for inspecting the property and they can form their own opinions about the property. This is why the tenant or purchaser should inspect the property before doing anything.

It is crucial for tenants or purchasers to be thorough in the inspection and they should have a clear understanding of the escape route. If they think it is an issue, then they should tell their solicitor about it. If necessary, they should take action to create a new escape route or they can try to renegotiate the escape route, but the main thing is for the tenant to know fully what they are getting themselves into.

What You Need to Know About Fire Safety In Commercial Properties

In association with a number of tragic events that have occurred in London, the issues linked to fire-safety has become an important issue for many people. When it comes to the commercial properties the Regulatory Reform is also known as Fire Safety Order 2005, sets out the relevant obligations. In this article common problematic areas are highlighted during the property transactions that surround the Order, and also suggests solutions that are practical.

Who Do These Duties Apply To?

These duties will lie with a “responsible person” which will either be the employer of the work-place or the individual that controls this premises, which is linked to the undertaking of this person of business, trade or any other undertaking.

It is sometimes difficult to decide on who has the “control” of the premises when it comes to leasehold properties. The government guidance has suggested that this can often both be a tenant and the landlord, especially where the repairing responsibilities are split or where a tenant occupies a part. In addition, when the landlord surrenders or forfeits the lease, they also take back the control of the property and therefore become the person that is responsible. If there happen to be common parts like in shopping centres, it is usual for the management company or the landlord to hold responsibilities for these specific parts, with the tenants holding responsibilities for their unit. Tenants and landlords should, for this reason, ensure that it has been made clear who holds the responsibilities for the purpose of the Order.

Specific Duties

Regulation 9: Duties to carry out risk assessments

Problem 1 – the Order is not specific about what the risk assessments should involve

The responsible individual has to make a sufficient and suitable assessment of risks that the relevant persons are exposed to. This duty is not prescriptively particular, which instead puts the onus on a responsible individual to make their own decision on what is sufficient and suitable, according to the nature associated with a property, the company or any other types of relevant factors. This may result in issues with property transactions because a potential purchaser or tenant will be expecting to see copies of the risk assessment and the failure to produce one might cause delays if the tenant or purchaser insists on obtaining a copy before they will take the property. In addition, as the majority of the leases insist that tenants are responsible for the “statutory compliance”, the obligation will fall on a tenant who may overlook this compliance or not know how they should comply with this.

Whoever the onus falls on, getting private companies like TPT Fire to review the fire safety of the building is always recommended.

What Are You Able To Do?

There are no criteria that are definitive for a sufficient and suitable risk assessment, yet here is a list of Government guidance.

– Identify hazards

– Identify the people that are at risk

– Evaluate, reduce or remove the risks

– Record findings, and provide training and prepare emergency plans

– Update and review fire-risks assessments on a regular basis,

– Compliance is also known as “personal” obligation in the way that when the property has changed hands, the responsibilities to address risk assessments will fall on a new occupier or owner. Previous risk assessments will not automatically pass with a property.

Problem 2 – Making alterations to the property often trigger a review of the risk assessment

There are no specified time frames for replacement or renewal of the risk assessment, while the Order will instead refer to certain “triggers.” One of these triggers is when material changes have been made to a property.

What Are You Able To Do?

Become aware of the different “triggers” for reviews of an assessment. Think about whether alterations will affect the risk assessment. Even the simple act of inserting partitioning might affect an assessment when proposed escape routes are now regarded as no-longer suitable.

Regulation 14: Duty to make sure that all routes to the emergency exits along with exits themselves are always kept clear all the time.

Potential Issues- Escape routes are onto a third-party land

When an emergency-escape route for the property is under the control of a private third-party or over the land of a private owner, when the route has not been documented properly, the third-party might alter or block the route, which makes it unsuitable, as well as placing a responsible person “in breach” of his or her duty.

What Are You Able To Do?

The rights to utilise any third-party property for escape routes have to be documented properly. However, the landlord or sellers will in most cases place the onus on a tenant or purchaser to inspect or make up their own mind about this property. The purchaser or tenant will need to make sure they have inspected before the completion in order to gain an understanding of the escape routes and then let their solicitor know to ensure that the appropriate rights will be obtained when necessary or an alternative escape route will need to be negotiated on.